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UTXL’s carriers are reliable for pickup and at every stop in between

Expedited freight broker UTXL runs on its record.

UTXL is no ordinary trucking operation. It is a freight broker, matching companies with goods to ship to over-the-road trucking companies that can get them to their destination quickly.  UTXL specializes in expedited freight, a premium shipping service that makes speedy delivery a priority.

The company’s success in this niche business is bolstered by its 98.5% on-time delivery rate, according to Shelly Cannon, UTXL’s president. And its on-time record does not apply to only final delivery. UTXL’s carriers are just as reliable for pickup and at every stop in between.

UTXL, which is open 24/7, 365 days a year, operates differently behind the scenes as well.

A service-driven culture.

“Great service starts at the top, and it can’t be just words,” explained Cannon. “It has to be the philosophy you live by.”

“I believe in setting an expectation and doing what we say we’re going to do,” she continued.  “We live by that with our customers, carriers and employees.”

Cannon looks for a similar outlook in the organizations that support UTXL. “I’m very easy to get along with if you do what you say,” she said.

That is one reason Cannon is fiercely loyal to Commerce Bank, which has served as UTXL’s bank since 2015. 

“I don’t use the word partner with many companies I work with,” she noted. “But I use it with Commerce, which is a phenomenal partner. They have helped us get through many changes since I joined the company seven years ago.” 

Navigating a pandemic.

Among the most consequential changes took place in 2020 with the arrival of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Online sales soared overnight, creating exceptionally high demand for UTXL’s expedited freight services. During the peak, UTXL’s 48 employees generated $176 million in revenue in a single year, according to Cannon.

Those employees, however, were now working remotely.  That proved challenging for many, including the accounts payable staff responsible for paying the company’s invoices. “Printing and mailing checks is not something that could be done from home,” Cannon noted.

Commerce immediately stepped in with a solution, proposing to make payments on the company’s behalf using the CommercePayments® Payment Hub. If UTXL’s AP Department provided a single payment file, CommercePayments® would disburse funds to UTXL’s suppliers using their preferred payment method — a one-time-use virtual card or a check. The company would receive a revenue share for payments made using CommercePayments® AP Card.

Cannon had hesitated when the bank proposed a similar electronic payment system a year earlier.  But the bank had listened to her initial concerns and adjusted the solution to address them. This time, she was all-in.

“Stuffing checks is not a good use of our time,” she explained. “The electronic payment process we use now is easy to manage, allowing us to focus on things that make a difference.”

Undergoing an acquisition.

At the time, those “things” included privately owned UTXL’s becoming part of Phoenix-based Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, one of the largest publicly held transportation companies in North America. The acquisition was finalized in June 2021.

“When we were acquired by Knight-Swift, it was suggested that we switch banks,” recalled Cannon.  “I pushed back a lot to keep my relationship with Commerce. The people I work with at Commerce understood what I needed to do after the acquisition better than I knew myself,” she said. “They helped us ask the right questions.”

Staying lean.

Today UTXL’s load count — the number of shipments the company handles a year — continues to grow. But as the supply chain has become more predictable, the price of freight has leveled off, reducing the rate paid per mile by up to 75%.

Drawing on its 27 years in business, UTXL knows how to adapt.  “We’re the leanest company I’ve ever been a part of,” said Cannon. “You have to save where you can.”

Having a banking partner you can trust helps, too.

“Financial partners like Commerce are few and far between,” said Cannon. “They do what they say they’ll do. I feel very fortunate to have them in my corner.”

CommercePayments® solutions are provided by Commerce Bank.

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