The trucking industry has more “flavors” than Baskin-Robbins, from truckload to LTL, long-haul to local, irregular route to dedicated and more.
The Dependable Companies, based in Los Angeles, realized early on that its customers would benefit from working with a transportation company that could handle multiple aspects of its shipping needs instead of working with separate entities for drayage, warehousing and final delivery.
Harry Massman started the company in 1950 with one truck offering local delivery service. His son, Ron, joined the business in 1964 and a few years later, the company bought a small warehouse in Los Angeles and began offering warehousing services.
“I realized there were real opportunities to expand and offer more services to our customers,” explains Ron Massman, who is president of the company. “We could become more valuable to our customers by providing additional services.”
The menu of services increased in 1978 when the company began offering freight forwarding services between California and Hawaii. In 1980, Ron Massman formed Dependable Hawaiian Express to provide freight forwarding services to Hawaii and Guam after buying Seaway.
The warehousing business took a leap in 1993 when the company bought the former Sears catalog warehouse in downtown Los Angeles with more than 1.5 million square feet of space.
Under Ron Massman’s leadership, the company has purchased more than 30 companies to further expand its offerings. It now consists of five divisions: Dependable Highway Express, Dependable Hawaiian Express, Dependable Global Express, Dependable Distribution Centers and Dependable Logistics Solutions. The services offered include harbor drayage, regional LTL and truckload hauling, pick and pack, international import/export air and ocean freight services and third-party logistics services. All together these divisions employ more than 1,600 workers and run approximately 560 trucks. Three warehouses provide over 2 million square feet of space, customizable for customer needs.
Massman says acquisition has always been a part of the plan. “That’s always been our strategy. We focus on internal growth, but when an opportunity presents itself,” the company takes advantage.
While the menu of services the company offers has grown, Dependable’s leaders don’t want to diversify beyond their area of expertise. At one point, they tried adding long haul into the Midwest. But success in that realm requires a company to “be a certain size. We decided to concentrate on an area where we could offer the best service to our customers.”