Prior to co-founding All Pro Freight Systems South in July of 2003, George Renna spent 20 years with Landstar, a global transportation solutions provider. He was a field Vice President for the Northeast region based out of Delaware. Prior to Landstar, Renna was with a different trucking company out of Pennsylvania. A long-time friend, Chris Hass, called Renna in 2003 and presented him with an opportunity he couldn't refuse.
"Chris, who owns All Pro North in Ohio, said he had this incredible opportunity with a major customer that wanted him to expand into Florida," Renna said. "His call came at a great time. I was tired of Landstar and needed a change. Plus, I really wanted to live in Florida. Chris and I put a deal together and my wife and I made the move."
The first customer that made it possible for All Pro Freight Systems South to open its doors in Sanford was Invacare, the world's leading manufacturer of wheelchairs, bariatric equipment, disability scooters, respiratory products and other home-care products. Invacare has a manufacturing plant in Sanford and needed trucking services. That quickly evolved into All Pro South providing supply chain and logistics services.
Renna explained, "We receive raw materials and then inventory the material and transport based on Invacare's requirements for manufacturing. Today, we do three to four truck loads per day. We also do 'milk runs' for them. We stop by their vendors, load up our trucks and transport the load to Florida. It's a supply chain on the manufacturing side with raw materials."
Despite having a reliable client on day one, Renna and his team have experienced their fair share of challenges. Since the beginning, the hardest part has been finding reliable and safe drivers. Nevertheless, All Pro South prides itself on putting in the time to find the right drivers and keeping them for as long as possible. The Great Recession was another obstacle that Renna and his team were forced to overcome. Many customers went out of business, leaving All Pro South with empty buildings. Under the strong leadership of Renna, the company consolidated and successfully weathered the storm.
A workforce of nearly 50 drivers and 15 support staff strives to offer their customers more than just standard trucking services. "We pride ourselves on being more of a value-add company," Renna said. "We're certainly not just a plain trucking company. I think our warehouse facilities are what really sets us apart. We manage as much or as little as our customers need, including pick/pack, loading materials, and transportation. We have a very good reputation in the industry. When we commit to doing something, we do it. Companies like Thomas, Atlas Paper Products, Sherwood Southeast and Samsung rely on us to get the job done and to resolve problems."
Looking ahead, Renna is focused on doing what they've been doing and continuing to grow. He loves the people and the interactions between the drivers and customers. For Renna, who's in great health, the work is fun and retirement is not something he's thinking about.
What advice does Renna have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Get up and go do it," he said. "Go for it, but be flexible enough to make a change if you see it's not working. Do what you have to do to make it right and don't be afraid to talk to other people. If you shut everyone out, you're not going to make it. Not one person has all the answers. The key is to stay at it and to work towards your goal everyday. Once things are moving along, pay attention to the details."