Lightning Logistics Strikes Success with Milestone Premium Chassis



The Backstory

Founded in 2009, Houston, TX-based transportation provider Lightning Logistics is committed to meeting its customers’ service, safety, and on-time delivery needs. Beginning by serving only the booming oil and gas industries locally, the company has grown to now serve several industrial markets statewide. Throughout this continued growth, Lightning Logistics remains focused on providing best-in-class service to customers while creating a sustainable, healthy business for employees and drivers to flourish and prosper.

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The Challenge

When Lightning Logistics started 12 years ago, it used port chassis available exclusively throughout the Port of Houston. However, port chassis presented several challenges for Lightning Logistics, especially as it continued to expand and diversify its business.

“There were a lot of difficulties that came with utilizing port chassis,” said Adam Barber, director of business development for Lightning Logistics. “For example, you never knew if these chassis were in working order and available. This unreliability was stressful from constantly wondering if a mechanic would be able to fix what’s wrong.”

These reliability issues stemmed from the older age and numerous outdated features of port chassis. An example was the bias-ply tires of port chassis that were not durable in extreme temperatures, resulting in more breakdowns and safety concerns for everyone on the road.

Although there were ongoing issues with the quality, reliability and availability of port chassis, the rates for these chassis remained predominantly higher than those of other providers. This was in addition to increased maintenance and repair costs for these chassis for Lightning Logistics as well as the lost revenue from missed deliveries caused by more frequent breakdowns.


The Milestone Solution

To solve these challenges, Lightning Logistics partnered with Milestone, one of the nation’s fastest-growing providers of premium chassis. Although they began with just 10 chassis on short-term leases, Lightning Logistics quickly realized the value Milestone’s updated equipment compared to the port chassis they were utilizing.

First, despite its predominantly new fleet, Milestone’s premium chassis were less expensive for Lightning Logistics to lease than port chassis. Second, Milestone’s high-quality chassis had fewer breakdowns, less repairs and lower maintenance costs for Lightning Logistics due to their age, and new technology and safety features such as:

  • OEM Radial Tires
  • LED Lights
  • Anti-Lock Braking System
  • Disc Wheels
  • Optional GPS Tracking

“With Milestone’s reliable equipment in tow, Lightning Logistics’ drivers improved their turn times each day, leading to more money in their pockets. This boosted driver satisfaction and retention, which is extremely important right now due to driver shortages. This also gives Lightning Logistics peace of mind knowing this high-quality chassis is keeping their drivers and others safe on the road.

Lightning Logistics’ long-standing partnership with Milestone can be attributed to outstanding customer service. Barber especially appreciates the convenience of using Milestone’s ChassisFinder online reservation system to easily locate and lease chassis based on location, date, quantity and type.”

““Things in this industry move quickly, and the Milestone Team’s willingness to help and answer our questions, even about things unrelated to our specific partnership, always keeps us one step ahead of the game,” said Barber.

Growing its chassis utilization with Milestone from the 10 units on short-term lease initially to 75 units on long- term lease now, Lightning Logistics has benefitted from even more significant savings on its lease as well as maintenance costs annually.

“By moving from older, outdated port chassis to the premium Milestone chassis fleet, we save an estimated $55K annually in repair and lease costs,” according to Barber.”