David Carruth, president and CEO of One for Freight in Milton, Ont. has been named chairman of the Ontario Trucking Association for a two-year term. The announcement was made today at the OTA annual executive conference in Toronto.
Carruth, a strong and vocal long-time supporter of OTA, has served for a number of years on the OTA board of directors and executive committee, most recently as first vice-chairman. He succeeds Onfreight’s Steve Ondejko as chair.
Introduced to the world of transportation at an early age, David worked his way to success from the ground up. He got his start at North American TNT with his uncle and former OTA chair, Cam Carruth. There, David met his long-time mentor and friend John Schiller. After a decade with TNT, David followed Schiller to Sameday Right-O-Way, before starting his own business in 1992.
Specializing in the home delivery market, his company grew exponentially. Three years after selling his company to Grocery Gateway in 2001, his entrepreneurial spirit re-emerged. Seeing the need “for disruption”, David was driven to “challenge the traditional borders of the transportation industry” by launching LTL company, Ontario New England Express (ONE), into ONE for Freight.
Over the next decade, David and his partners quadrupled the size of the company through acquisitions, organic growth and continuous innovation. Today, One for Freight – as it’s known today – operates 55 trucks in a multitude solutions-based services.
As chair, Carruth says he plans to continue steering the association along its current path of equaling the competitive playing field for compliant, responsible carriers in areas of truck and highway safety, tax law and environmental rules. Key issues Carruth will focus on include: Driver Inc.; emission system delete kits; implementation of electronic logging devices in Ontario; speed limiter enforcement and clarification of overtime calculation payments.
“We will continue working with government on targeted enforcement of non-compliant carriers so they can no longer gain advantages on the majority of law-abiding carriers who choose to play by the rules and who take safety, labour mandates and the environment seriously,” says Carruth. “Addressing these issues will make the trucking industry a more attractive place for Canadians to find professional work and sends a strong message to the carrier community of what OTA stands for.
“Perhaps there are a minority in the industry who won’t like this message. But we must stand by our principles as the voice of the industry.”
One issue that’s close to Carruth’s heart is laying down the foundations for the next generation of up-and-coming OTA leaders and thinkers. As a longtime mentor to the OTA LEAD Committee, Carruth says one of his mandates as chair will be to promote the association’s next generation programs and put its young participants front-and-centre for industry events and involving them in various initiatives.
Carruth stresses he is “naturally passionate about helping people become the best they can be in business and in life.” On that note, he is adamant that, as trucking quickly evolves and diversifies in this latest wave of technological disruption, individual companies and the association would be well-served to highlight ideas from the next generation of leaders to drive innovation and growth.
‘This industry is loaded with bright and engaged individuals who are willing to invest in themselves through personal development,” says Carruth. “One of my mandates is to encourage young talent from OTA member carriers to do the same in becoming better leaders in our ever-changing industry.”
Among many other issues, Carruth also looks forward to the task of growing association membership and encouraging current members to become more involved in policy initiatives and events. Over the next two years he will help oversee the implementation of various committee recommendations endorsed by the OTA Board in 2019.
David is an avid golfer and cherishes his family life with wife Annette and daughter Stephanie, who works with her father at One for Freight and is herself an enthusiastic participant of the Next Generation program.