What keeps Port Consolidated running smoothly?
“Consistency. Integrity. Clarity. Knowledge. Dedication. That’s what people want.”
And according to Mike Simmons, owner and operator of Port Consolidated Fuel & Lubricants, that’s what Nextran has. As a company with deep roots in Florida, Simmons’ business is built on the reliability of his fleet. He doesn’t expect much of the trucks he buys and leases from Nextran. In his own words, they need “to last, to work, [and] to hold up” to the demands of his industry. For that, he turns to Mack Trucks. More specifically, he turns to Charlie Mead, his longtime Mack representative.
“I’ve known my Mack salesmen for 38 years,” says Simmons “He sold my Dad his first tractor.”
That’s the kind of relationship Nextran hopes to cultivate with its customers. In addition to Charlie’s excellent salesmanship, there’s something else that keeps Mike Simmons returning to Nextran Truck Centers and Mack Trucks. “Nextran truly differentiates themselves,” he says. And he knows how that sounds. He’s been in the trucking business long enough to know all the slogans and popular descriptors companies love to use: “tough,” “strong,” “heavy-duty,” “built-to-last.” Still, that doesn’t stop him from using a few of those words to talk about Mack Trucks in a self-aware nod to the industry.
“They’re tough. They’re built strong.”
Simmons knows about Mack’s durability firsthand. He mentions that folks often talk about how “flat” Florida is without realizing that territory often brings frequent starts-and-stops that mean more wear-and-tear. For Simmons, Mack is the truck that can withstand it. But to buy or lease those trucks, he visits Nextran Truck Centers for a variety of reasons. The simplest? Proximity and Dependability.
“I want my service provider to be close to where I am.” It seems like a small thing, but Simmons’ business is made on his word. He needs a reliable service provider that he can call on at any time to get the job done, because his clients are anything but sympathetic. “All my customers want their delivery, and they want it now. That’s why the uptime and reliability are key.”
He’s referring to Nextran’s status as a certified Mack Uptime Center, with a host of services to keep operators on the road. Of course, thanks to his reliable Mack fleet, Simmons has yet to call on those services. But he says knowing they’re available provides a peace-of-mind that’s hard to come by.
As he watches the industry’s evolution, Simmons reflects on one more thing that keeps him coming back to Nextran. He’s been a part of the industry for decades, and he’s witnessed the rise of e-commerce and the corresponding decline of what he calls the “people-side” of the business. It saddens him, but not all companies have completely acquiesced to the demands of a world where “no one has to talk to anyone.”
“You gotta have the people,” says Simmons. “Nextran has the people.”