SmartWay Partner

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Recognizing BRT for working toward more cost-effective and environmentally efficient freight transportation

Food Logistics Top Green Providers List for 2017


Food Logistics — 2015, 2016, 2017

Recognizing BRT for enhancing sustainability within the food
and beverage industry



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, 616-878-2830

BRT named to Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers list for 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – SpartanNash, the nation’s fifth largest food distributor, announced its managed freight business, BRT, has been named a 2017 Top Green Provider by Food LogisticsFood Logistics is a publication dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain.

Located in Indianapolis, BRT offers dry and refrigerated freight services, full truckload (FTL) and less than truck load (LTL) services, warehousing and load consolidation across industries. It specializes in produce, food and beverage transportation and brings that “just-in-time” perishable goods mindset to each and every shipment. The company is part of SpartanNash’s food distribution business segment.

“We are honored to be named among the country’s top green providers, because it reaffirms our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said David Frizzell, President, BRT and Senior Vice President, SpartanNash. “At BRT, we deliver high-service logistics in an efficient and sustainable way.”

Food Logistics’ annual Top Green Providers recognizes companies whose products, services, or exemplary leadership is enhancing sustainability within the food and beverage industry. Each year, the criteria for earning a spot on the list become more stringent for applicants.

This is the second consecutive year BRT has been named to the Top Green Providers list.

BRT was selected as a Top Green Provider for its participation in EPA’s SmartWay Carbon Disclosure Project; its LEED-certified facility, which uses solar panels, rainwater recapture, LED lighting retrofit and other sustainability measures; and going beyond industry standards for environmental stewardship.

BRT was also recognized by Food Logistics for its future sustainability goals and including its sustainability efforts and results on its website.

“The future viability of the world’s food supply chain is dependent upon our ability to integrate sustainability from farm to fork,” says Lara L. Sowinski, editorial director. “Transportation and logistics comprise a significant part of that supply chain, and we commend those companies in our industry that embrace their role as environmental stewards, while raising the sustainability bar for their peers.”


About SpartanNash
SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries. SpartanNash serves customer locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 151 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market and SunMart. Through its MDV military division, SpartanNash is the leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries.

About Food Logistics
Food Logistics is published by AC Business Media, a business-to-business media company that provides targeted content and comprehensive, integrated advertising and promotion opportunities for some of the world’s most recognized B2B brands. Its diverse portfolio serves the construction, logistics, supply chain and other industries with print, digital and custom products, events and social media.

Congratulations to the Following BadAss Employees of 2016!

Saturday, January 14th we all gathered at The Rathskeller in Downtown Indy to celebrate the Holidays and give recognition to many of our team members who most demonstrated our Core Values in 2016.

We came together as a group for a delicious dinner, great music, a fun photo booth and the annual BRT -cademy awards.  Congratulations to the following BadAss recipients:

(Take a look at all the pictures on our Facebook page – the photo booth was a huge hit!)

Whit Smith, Manager,
Carrier Sales
—BadAss of the Year

Patricia Monroe, Sr. Optimization
& Implementation Consultant
– “Figures It Out” of the Year


Mark Simmonds,
Team Lead: Dedicated AM
– Rookie of the Year

Caitlin Conroy,
Senior Account Manager
– “High Service Logistics” of the Year

Tyler Henderson,
Carrier Sales Manager
—Most Valuable Player Of the Year



Dan Himmelheber, Senior Manager of Caito —Team Player of the Year









Managing Your Transportation Options

Trish Monroe – Senior Optimization & Implementation Consultant

Recent trends have shown that the 3PL world has steadily been on the upswing for the last 20 years. Why are shippers moving from insourcing transportation and acquiring assets to an outsource model with 3PL companies?

Studies have shown that over the last 2 decades 3PL providers have been able to not only take the burden off of shippers, but to also find cost saving initiatives for their clients. There are both benefits and disadvantages to a complete outsource that I will explain in this article.

But first, what is a full outsource and how can it benefit your company? Outsource, by definition, is contracting work out to another company. In the logistic industry, a full outsource would entail sending all orders through a 3pl provider to manage and consolidate freight. Today, you see many emerging manufacturing and distribution companies outsourcing their logistics responsibilities to 3PL companies. These 3PL’s are then in charge of receiving the customers’ orders, optimizing routes, gathering the carriers, equipment, and people, ensuring that product gets to the end receiver, and most importantly handling all the data associated with the transportation.

You can see the benefits of outsourcing transportation just by listing through the steps a shipper no longer has to take to stay in control. Clients that are in hopes to find a dependable full outsource solution should ask: What is their company culture? Does their services offer what I need? Are they capable of scaling up to maintain service levels as our company grows? Blue Ribbon Transport (BRT) is a 3PL that drives to stay ahead of the competition. We believe that service levels are paramount to the continued success of any outsource program. BRT has worked hand in hand with our clients to ensure a smooth and successful transition with full transparency and communication. To go into more depth, studies have shown the following benefits have come from a full logistic outsource:

  • Costs– 3PL’s have carrier relationships and access to superior and low price providers.
  • Adjustment and Flexibility– 3PL’s have the ability to flex when the market shifts. Shippers no longer have to buy assets and when business gets slow there is no need to sit on underutilized equipment.
  • Lower Headcount– With 3PL’s handling majority of logistic duties, shippers no longer need to employ personnel to oversee day to day activities.
  • Focus on Essential Concerns– Shippers no longer have to split time between departmental focus. This allows businesses to concentrate on production/manufacturing etc.
  • Technology- Majority of 3PL providers now offer TMS access and data warehousing giving the client real time updates and information.
  • Access to Networks- Larger 3PL providers have access to warehouses and storage facilities across the country. Emerging clients can take advantage of National Distribution Networks for LTL shipments and cutting costs significantly.
  • Consolidation-Third Parties have a large customer base that cross consolidation can occur. This is particularly favorable for shippers if they are sending out LTL shipments that they are currently paying FTL rates for.
  • Service- Service is what 3PL’s strive for as a value adding service to a shipper/customer.
  • FSMA Compliance- With new and ever changing FDA regulations, 3PL’s have the ability to adapt to regulations.
  • Shared Risk- By utilizing a 3PL customers can mitigate risks by having a third layer added.
  • Knowledge – 3PL’s are experts in the logistics and transportation industry. Utilizing the correct 3PL can give customer the advantages of expert knowledge.

On the other hand, Insourcing can be beneficial for companies. By definition, insourcing is the decision to maintain control. In the logistics industry, when a company chooses to insource transportation they are choosing to hire a subject matter expert, or a consultant to design and control a transportation department. This leads to benefits such as the following:

  • Control-Shippers still have complete control over all decisions and outcomes.
  • Self-Sufficient- Easier transition from one shipping model to another happens when there is not another party involved.
  • Confidentiality – By keeping all data in house, Shippers are able to know exactly who can access information
  • Layers- There is not a 3rd layer of business in the communication flow making it easier to gather information
  • Costs- Shippers will know exact cost of transportation without having additional expenses.
  • Equipment- Having equipment at client’s disposal to move product when needed.

There may not be a right or wrong decision, but knowing what your company needs to thrive and achieve continued success is the first step to selecting your direction. There will always be resources available to help along the way, whether that’s employing a subject matter expert, contracting a consulting firm, or a full outsourcing to a 3PL provider. If you’re just getting started and need a helping hand, BRT has the resources to help you hit the ground running.

Trish Monroe – Senior Optimization and Implementation Consultant

My Summer at Blue Ribbon Transport

During the summer of 2016 we had an amazing group of interns from Ball State, IUPUI, Purdue and IU Kelley School of Business.  They were such an asset and we enjoyed having them here and they had a great experience.

But don’t take our word for it, we’ll let a couple of them tell you about it:


Matt Stowe – IUPUI majoring in Accounting and Supply Chain Management


Over the summer I was able to work with Lisa and the HSL team to manage the Caito account. Everyone welcome us and treated us great. This included the training, which was exactly what the new full-time hires received. I was even given the opportunity to train a new full-time hire towards the end of the internship. Throughout the internship I learned a tremendous amount about the logistics industry. I worked with many different companies and hundreds of different loads. I never knew so much went into getting fruit to the local grocery store. Everything I learned during this internship will help me in the future, regardless of which direction I go. Thank you to everyone at BRT for making it such a great experience.

Sincerely, Matt Stowe



Grant Gill – Ball State University majoring in Business Administration

This past summer I had the fortune to intern for Blue Ribbon Transport. I was greeted with a warm welcome on day one. I was treated and viewed as a full time employee which made me feel like a part of the team. I received a great amount of training and insight during my time with BRT that has already proved to be beneficial in advancing my professional career. I never felt undervalued simply because I was an intern. I loved my time with BRT, and it was a BADASS experience!

BRT Collects Much Needed Items to Assist our Honored Veterans This Thanksgiving


John Carlson, Manager of Business Development, introduced the employees of BRT to the Non Profit, Homeless Veteran’s Initiative Program (Homeless VIP) as a result of a close friendship with Veteran, Chris Manus, who founded Homeless VIP.  John has a true passion to give back to his community and working with Chris to help our Indianapolis Veterans was a natural fit.

john-c-chairJohn, volunteering as Vice President of Homeless VIP, has led the charge to start a collection at BRT to gather much needed items such as coats, blankets, boots and food for our honored and deserving Veterans in the Indianapolis area this Holiday Season.  John says, “It is a truly humbling experience to help those less fortunate in our local community, especially veterans who have fought for our freedom. As vice president of this Non Profit Organization, I want to do anything I can to help!”

All of us at BRT are excited to help John and Homeless VIP show our Veterans our appreciation and support!

BRT has a collection box set up in the kitchen for clothing donations and Homeless VIP will be volunteering our time at the annual Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF) Thanksgiving dinner.  Homeless VIP, with BRT’s help and the help of other generous donors, hope to provide additional food items through donations that can be made via their website here.

We will be collecting the following items:

  • Long-Johns
  • Sock Caps
  • Gloves
  • Winter Coats
  • Winter Boats
  • Scarfs
  • Thick Socks
  • Blankets

Items needed for the Thanksgiving dinner include:  Rolls, Cranberry sauce, Assorted desserts, Pie, Brownies, cookies, cake, etc.; Assorted soft drinks & tea; Cups, Napkins, Plastic ware .

BRT sees this initiative as a wonderful opportunity as an organization to help John with this effort that will have an immediate and meaningful impact on our local Veterans.

Please share with your friends, family and peers in the Indianapolis area to help us collect the above mentioned items.  Or, you may contact Homeless VIP directly via email at: [email protected] or their Facebook Page here if you’d like to donate directly or start your own collection drive.

If you live outside of the Indianapolis area, we encourage you to reach out to your local VOA or similar Non Profit Organization in your area this season.

How BRT uses Real Time Technology to Optimize Frequent, Smart Delivery



“Blue Ribbon Transport (BRT) offers Optimization Solutions utilizing the power of MercuryGate’s Mojo Optimizer. Combine this software with BRTs FSMA compliant network, and customers can now benefit from our combined Optimization Tools and High Service Perishable Commodity mindset”.
-Trish Monroe, Senior Assessment & Implementation Consultant

While networking within the logistics industry, I consistently hear buzz words like “LTL shipments”, “optimization”, “competitive line haul rates”, and, the one that blows my mind, “more frequent deliveries to end customers”.

Why the need for these “buzz words”?  Are we not satisfied with how transportation works today?

Over the last decade, vendors and customers have worked tirelessly to reduce transportation cost by minimizing the frequency of deliveries to end destinations. So why are we going backward? The answer is: We aren’t!

By increasing deliveries you are giving your end customers the ability to order more frequently in reduced quantities. This reduces their storage expenses and allows them to operate on a leaner level.  On the other hand, this may be advantageous for ‘Smart’ vendors as well.  If consolidation can be had of smaller shipments a vendor can utilize a multi-stop truckload solution, or potentially dedicated routes. With this evolution of optimization within the industry, 3PLs as well as shippers are now able to meet your needs while also keeping costs down. This is done by consolidation, what if scenarios, as well as network overlapping. Manual paper and pen approach is the way of the past.

I’d like to reference a White Paper, MercuryGate and Mojo.  In this paper you will read of all the positive ways that Mojo can help change a shipper, 3PL, and even a consultant’s role. Touching every part of a supply chain from Shipper to 3PL to end customer.

“Optimization can be deployed in a wide range of scenarios. It can be used during the procurement process to make sourcing decisions, during the actual planning process when you’re identifying capacity requirements, and during the execution process when you’re building actual loads. Last but not least, it can also be used in strategic network design when making decisions like adding pool points to reduce network cost.”

Blue Ribbon Transport (BRT) offers Optimization Solutions utilizing the power of MercuryGate’s Mojo Optimizer. Combine this software with BRTs FSMA compliant network, and customers can now benefit from our combined Optimization Tools and High Service Perishable Commodity mindset.

Why is beneficial? When looking for a 3PL or an outsource solution it is imperative to know the product and have solutions. BRT works with everything from dry product to produce and even ice cream. With a nationwide network of head hauls and back hauls as well as consolidation warehouses, we are focused to run the best solutions for our clients.

Utilizing Mojo for consolidation and pooling points BRT can take your 2 pallet deliveries 4 times a week and consolidate routes to ensure you’re getting the best “bang for your buck”.   Erich Hofmann, Senior Supply Chain Analyst (BRT), states “If you can think it, you can try it with this software.  Sometimes you look like a Genius and sometimes a Dud but you can always find the answer to that ‘what if’ question.”

Cross customer consolidation, network overlying, backhaul programs, and even procuring partnerships are all the way of the future. Utilizing tools to continually improve service and networks is BRT’s expertise. Here at Blue Ribbon, we strive to partner with our clients not just a transportation provider but to be a supply chain partner.  If you need more information on the direction the industry is going or what BRT has to offer please contact me or my team of Supply Chain Advantage Specialists!

Blue Ribbon Transport Offering FREE Flu Shots to Employees


As we move into Fall season, we know that the Flu can travel quickly among us all.  Therefore, all full time BRT employees are being offered FREE flu shots in the office today.

Thank you to Walmart Pharmacy for bringing all that’s needed onsite to our training room to provide this convenient service to our employees.  And, thank you to all of our BadAss employees who are taking advantage of this opportunity to prevent the flu and stay healthy this season!

img_5402 img_5404 img_5406 img_5403



BRT Participates in a Fun & Rewarding Community Event with Indy DO Day!


Friday, September 30th, many BRT employees participated in a major community service initiative across the city of Indianapolis called Indy Do Day.  This event overall is an an opportunity for people to get to know their neighbors, take ownership of the community they live in, and also help take care of one another.

Indy-Do-Day encourages people to think outside the box when it comes to finding ways to give back.  Over 15,000 individuals from various organizations signed up to participate over the course of three days.

After participating last year, BRT jumped at the chance to participate once again this year gathering three times as many volunteers as last year.  Employees split into two day shifts:  a morning group from 9am-noon and an afternoon group from noon-3pm.

Partnering with the Lawrence Township School Foundation, BRT focused on cleaning up the Garden and the nature trail at Skiles Test Elementary School.

You may view photos, videos, and testimonials about all the great work done on Indy DO Day on our Facebook and Twitter as well as Indy Do Day’s Facebook and Twitter (@IndyDoDay and #IndyDoDay ).

Check out this great video capturing the hard work of many volunteers and BRT at minute 2:32!

Chamber Honors Blue Ribbon Transport With Leading Business of the Year Award

Blue Ribbon Transport (BRT) was presented the Leading Business of the Year 2016 award by the Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce today, in recognition of our impressive and continued growth as a dynamic logistics firm based in the City of Lawrence.



Thank you to Cameron Starnes, Director of Economic Development, City of Lawrence for nominating us!  He did such a fabulous job capturing the BRT history and culture his nomination, we’re sharing it word for word!

img_5003“BRT was first incorporated in 1996 with only 3 employees and now employs 85 and is headquartered on Historic Fort Harrison. BRT was initially created as a traffic management entity for Caito Foods, but struck out on its own in 2004. Indeed, much of BRT’s growth has occurred in the last 5-6 years as it has harnessed logistics technology  in order to offer more affordable and more convenient freight logistics services to its clients. In 2010, BRT had 16 employees, which count had almost doubled to 24 by 2012, doubled again to 48 in 2014, and nearly doubled yet again to its current count of 85 employees in 2016.

BRT re-located to Fort Harrison in 2012, and took a creative and visionary approach to retrofitting a former mule barn to serve as its offices. No doubt there were numerous challenges in relation to tackling such a project, but BRT succeeded in re-making the former barn into a unique and vibrant business headquarters. While expansion plans are always sensitive, BRT anticipates its innovative approach to logistics will lead to future growth in the field. On the revenue side, BRT boasts double digit increases year over year, which has fueled its impressive employment growth.

Supply Chain Advantage is one example of how BRT’s focus on innovation continues to carry the company forward. Through its Consultative Supply Chain Design Team, BRT has been able to take its experience and expertise to the market in a consulting role to assess, analyze, propose, and implement supply chain solutions for its clients.

BRT prides itself on adding value to its clients’ businesses through being able to tackle and solve complex supply chain puzzles and maximize efficiency. Additionally, BRT is a proud member of the SmartWay Transport Partnership through the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which seeks to advance sustainability and carbon accountability in the logistics sector. According to EPA figures, SmartWay Partners have saved 170.3 million barrels of oil since 2004. BRT is also a member of the national Transportation Intermodal Association, and was recognized by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2016 for its impact on the local logistics market and as a Top 100 Third Party Logistics and Cold Storage provider in 2015 by Food Logistics, a national publication.

Importantly, BRT is also an engaged and valuable community partner, participating in Greater Lawrence Chamber events including community clean up events, Toys for Tots, and military support efforts. Moreover, BRT has hosted a blood drive, contributed to the Belzer Middle School Clothing Drive, provided Christmas for a Belzer family, sponsors the YMCA, contributes monetary support for the Children’s Car Seat Program in Carmel, Indiana, and participates in the March of Dimes, Indianapolis Alzheimer’s event, and Parkinson’s Disease events.

While the City of Lawrence certainly appreciates the growth and economic benefit BRT brings to the City, it is important to point out that BRT is also a company that gives back to the community through financial contributions and volunteerism in support of a wide variety of worthy causes.

The City of Lawrence is proud to be the home of Blue Ribbon Transport, as well as home to several of its employees. In recognition of its history in Lawrence and its innovative and growing business, we are once again very pleased to nominate Blue Ribbon for the Leading Business of the Year award.”