Highway to success Featured

6:56am EDT June 28, 2002
Chris Haas has been in the driver's seat of All Pro Freight Systems since its inception in 1990. He started the company in his basement, then had to decide whether to run the business operations or start selling.

"Whichever way I chose, I was going to have to hire some people, so I decided to take on the sales role," says Haas, president and founder. "I hired someone to handle the operations. I thought of the old saying that you'll never get anyone to work as hard as yourself. With the operations end of the business, I knew I couldn't control as much. I realized I was best suited to go out and knock doors down."

All Pro soon moved into a trucking terminal, tapping into the demand for a local transportation company. Large competitors were based out of state, and local firms had a limited number of trucks.

"I decided I was going to build a truck line based in Cleveland," says Haas. "I marketed Manco, Bonne Bell and other manufacturers with the fact that I was right down the street, and a lot of Cleveland shippers were attracted by that."

A 120,000-square-foot warehouse combined with a fleet of 150 trucks gives Haas a lot of flexibility.

"We can pick up, warehouse and ship to their destinations," says Haas. "We're a one-stop shop for shippers. We've expanded our services where we can pretty much just go in and take over a company's trucking operations."

Haas says personal attention is key to his success. However, it's also a challenge as the company approaches the $30 million revenue mark.

"The marketing side and business administration side have grown so much that it's getting tougher to spend time with clients," says Haas. "That's my biggest challenge right now, and I'm going to go after it."

Haas' goal is to grow All Pro to the $100 million revenue mark in five years. A state-of-the-art trucking and distribution facility in Avon gives it credibility with larger companies, Haas says.

"We have a great team and we haven't lost an employee in over two year," Haas says. "It's not just all about business and working to death. We are in a service industry and have to portray a good attitude. Good service is the only value-added you can sell." How to reach: All Pro Freight Systems, (440) 934-2222