President and CEO of Kriska Transportation, providing transportation, logistics and warehousing. Kriska is a Platinum Club member of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Award Program.
Kriska was selected the 2014 Volvo Trucks Safety Award winner by the American Trucking Association at the Management Conference in San Diego, California in October 2014. Earlier in 2014, Kriska was awarded the Shipper's Choice Award by the Canadian Transportation and Logistics Magazine.
"It's a great place to live and work and from a business perspective it's a very cost effective place to do business."
Kriska Transportation employs approximately 260 people and its main administrative offices are located on Sophia Street in Prescott. The transportation, logistics and warehousing business was founded by the late Ken Seymour, Mark Seymour's father, in 1978. The operation moved from Kemptville to Prescott, a transportation hub because of its proximity to Highway 401 and the Prescott-Ogdensburg International Bridge, in 1987. The business grew rapidly with the deregulation of the trucking industry that same year. Kriska went from a private carrier for RCA to a for-hire company.
This is a company with a history of doing good business. Kriska has a reputation as being one of the best-managed firms in the country. It is a Platinum Club member of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies Award Program. Kriska has made the top-50 list consecutively for many years, including 2014.
"We try to invest in people. We give them the best tools to do the best job," president Mark Seymour says. One piece of equipment is a $200,000 driving simulator. The machine helps Kriska Transport drivers fine-tune their abilities behind the wheel.
"We want to invest in training. We want to be an industry leader when it comes to compliance, the environment and safety. It's an evergreen situation," Mark says.
"We want to continue to put ourselves in the best position for continued success." For example, the company is rolling out e-logs for all of its drivers. E-logs aren't mandatory yet but Seymour believes they will be soon. He wants to be ahead of the game and have top efficiency for his customers.
"If we know something is coming, we want to do it and do it right," he says. Kriska was one of the first trucking firms to reduce speed for all of its trucks. It made the move in 1987, long before transports were required to travel no more than 105 kilometres per hour on Ontario highways.
Kriska started as a small family business but is now a company with more than 400 trucks transporting goods on North American highways. An office was opened in Mississauga in 1990 to tap into a broader market. In 1996, the company purchased the former 300,000-square-foot RCA building in Prescott to expand its distribution centre and its logistics and warehousing business.
Acquisitions by Kriska have included J.E. Thompson (Ingleside) in 1995, Lamperth Trucking of Burlington in 2000, Lavigne Trucking of Ottawa and Muir's International in 2007, B.M.D. Transportation of Lansdowne and Clark Transportation of Perth in 2009. Kriska acquired JMS in Sarnia in February 2011. The most recent acquisitions include Mill Creek Freight in Cambridge and JMF Transport of Valcourt, Quebec in early 2015. Mark initiated a partnership in late 2014 to create Kriska Transportation Group.
"Kriska will always be an eastern Ontario-based company because of our loyal, hardworking workforce. Our turnover is much lower here," says Mark.
"We want to provide a safe, dependable, respective work environment. We try to build relationships with our customers and our employees. We want to do it right using the right tools."
It also makes good business sense to keep Kriska's home base in Leeds and Grenville.
"It's less expensive to operate here," he maintains.
Mark Seymour is proud to do business in Leeds Grenville.
850 Sophia Street, Prescott