Bolt Express grows with manufacturingWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The management of Bolt Express of Toledo were among 90 percent of survey respondents that are optimistic about the future of manufacturing in the U.S., according to the McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Report for Spring 2011.
Bolt Express participated in the spring survey and attended the second annual Manufacturing & Distribution Update on June 22 by Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler Ltd. of Maumee. The results, including 904 respondents from 45 states, were reported at that event by Karen Kurek, of RSM McGladrey Inc.
“We work mostly with manufacturers so we need to know what’s happening in their business. Manufacturing is in direct correlation to our time-critical expediting business,” said Ben Bauman, president and CEO of Bolt Express.
Bauman said the outlook for manufacturing is positive and they see the same for their business, which has grown about 42 percent year-to-date in 2011. The firm has already hired 12 new employees this year increasing its work force to 85, he said.
Bolt Express experienced a 109 percent growth in sales in 2010 for the fifth consecutive year of more than 50-percent growth, according to Bauman. About 30 percent of its growth has been outside the U.S. correlating to 50 percent of manufacturers that were growing through international business, according to the McGladrey report.
Bauman said the company began working with Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler to cover some accounting and tax issues with their growing Mexico and international business. It led to a much stronger relationship beyond its international business.
“It’s a true partnership,” Bauman said about the relationship with Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler.
Bolt opened an operations center in Laredo, Texas in 2010 to handle its growing transportation business in Mexico for many of its customers with locations there, Bauman said.
“We’re like an industrial ambulance service. When the just-in-time system fails and our customers need it now, we come in and solve the problems for them. We use air charter and air freight when ground transportation can’t get it there in time,” Bauman said.
“That’s where we fit in expediting everything from a small box of parts to a prototype car. Everything we do is exclusive shipments from point A to Point B with no damage. Most of the critical freight is picked up within 90 minutes of their call,” he said.
“Our technology provides real-time data tracked by satellite and updated by computer that informs our customers where the truck with their load is located at any given time.”
Ben and his wife, Elizabeth, started Bolt Express in 2000 after acquiring the assets of a small expediter. They began with four employees, 11 trucks and a business plan that has not changed to this date.
They expanded the business in 2003 to better meet the needs of their customers. They started Bolt Logistics, a special operation to provide customers with a single-call option for their rush-critical shipments and air charter needs.
They built a new headquarters in the North Cross Industrial Park in North Toledo while growing at an accelerated pace. Starting with 10,000 square feet in 2005, they added sections with a total of 30,000 square feet in 2008.
Bolt Express is nearing completion of another 15,000-square-foot addition expected to open in September with a drivers’ lounge, training center and garage services.
Bolt Express is the presenting sponsor of the inaugural Great Lakes Convoy, Bike Rally and Rock the Lot Party on Sept. 24. The truck convoy and bike route will begin at the I-280 and I-80/90 interchange in Perrysburg, loop through Toledo and return to the starting point.
The event will raise funds for the awareness, prevention and cure of women’s cancers with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society, Foundation of Women’s Cancer and local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.