Dave Cox of Polaris Transportation Group talks about embracing change; the importance of relationships; cross-border complexity; & the power of digitization.

400: Raise The Bar For Your Supply Chain, with Polaris Transportation Group

Today I’m joined by Polaris Transportation Group, the largest privately-held Canadian cross-border LTL carrier.

Over the years, Polaris has evolved to make life easier for the shipping community and through innovation and acquisition, customers now look to Polaris to assist in all facets of their supply chain. A single-source supply chain provider, Polaris is the carrier of choice for Fortune 500 companies, 3PLs, global freight forwarders, and small to medium-sized businesses alike.

Today Dave Cox, CEO at Polaris, joins me to talk all about Polaris and what they do; moving beyond a “we’ve always done it that way” approach; how they’re helping brands of all sizes to cross borders; and why they’ve embarked on a unique digital transformation journey.

 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

 

[06.38] How Polaris Transportation Group was founded 30 years ago, and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

“The company was started by Larry and Geri Cox. They were bankrupt, they’d been entrepreneurs before… we found some success, and skinned our knees along the way – all of which we learned from!”

[07.38] An overview of Polaris – what they do, and how they help their customers.

[08.58] The ideal client for Polaris.

[10.30] A closer look at how Polaris has expanded over the years, and the mindset at the forefront of that growth.

“People liked the fact that we listened to them. It might seem funny to say, but not enough people listen – and we were good at it! So we were able to scale by attracting business through word of mouth.”

[12.51] The importance of embracing change; and the challenges and priorities Polaris are seeing across the industry right now.

“Embracing change is in our DNA – we’ve always tried to be progressive when it comes to technology, people, community, sustainability.”

[16.27] Polaris’ cross-border services; the complex challenges in cross-border trade; the importance of digitization and strong relationships; and how these elements come together to deliver great experiences for Polaris customers.

[19.48] A closer look at Polaris’ supply chain solutions, and how Polaris is utilizing transparency and honest communication to move beyond a “we’ve always done it that way” approach and deliver solutions that work.

“It’s the Amazon effect – everyone wants to know where their product is at one time, and when to expect it… client’s want straightforward, transparent conversations.”

[24.10] How consolidation can help businesses achieve better supply chain design and planning.

[26.07] Polaris’ progressive approach to tech, and how their digital transformation journey has helped Polaris scale and better serve their customers.

“I went down a rabbit hole with my CTO… now every document is handled by robotic processing and it’s completely changed how we run our business. It’s freed up human capacity, and we’ve unlocked their creative ability.”

[33.11] Why Polaris launched the Larry Cox Academy, and the impact it’s having on the brand, and the supply chain community.

[37.47] From increasing cross-border business to a focus on sustainability, what to look out for in 2024; and the future for Polaris.

 

RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:

 

Head over to Polaris Transportation Group’s website now to find out more and discover how they could help you too. You can also connect with Polaris and keep up to date with the latest over on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or X (Twitter) or you can connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more from Canadian talent, check out 388: See The Future of Transportation, with Win Global or 331: Women In Supply Chain™, Sylena Urbanoski.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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