By KALEA HALL
Bruce Berger doesn’t think he will ever be able to stop checking out trucks when he sees them on the road after he retires from Aim Integrated Logistics this month.
The 29-year employee is actually the first employee of Aim Integrated Logistics.
Though he’s humble about his impact on the business, since he helped start Aim Integrated in 1990 it has seen continuous growth going from 12 drivers when it first started to more than 500 today.
Aim Integrated offers businesses the trucks and drivers needed to deliver their product across the U.S.
“I’m extremely proud of the company,” Berger said, who is the senior vice president of operations. “But it’s not about me. One person doesn’t make this work.”
Aim Transportation Solutions was founded in 1982 as an affiliate of McNicholas Transportation, which was then the largest steel hauler east of the Mississippi.
In 1982, Tom Fleming, CEO of Aim, went off on his own with the company and 29 vehicles.
Today, Mahoning Valley-based Aim Transportation Solutions has four operating companies: Aim Leasing Co., Aim Integrated Logistics, Aim Services and Aim3PL.
“We operate about 11,000 vehicles across the continental U.S.,” Fleming said.
Berger, a Warren native and Navy veteran, went to Kent State University for political science but decided to stick with a career in transportation.
“I liked it and ended up not going to law school,” Berger said. “It was challenging, and it was fast paced, and that’s what I liked.”
Berger worked directly with drivers at other now-shuttered trucking companies before he was hired by Aim to work in the maintenance department. But Berger missed dealing with drivers.
“Then we had an opportunity for our first integrated account,” Berger said.
A Pittsburgh company in need of drivers and trucks to deliver its fish product contacted Aim for help. That first account had 12 drivers.
“It was great,” Berger said. “It was another whole business entity for us.”
Within a year or two, Aim Integrated started to get more accounts.
“He’s been very instrumental in the growth in Aim Integrated,” Fleming said of Berger. “He headed up operations all those years. He helped us provide excellent service and expand our customer base.”
To build up this side of the business has been nothing but great for Berger. He’s provided what he calls “simple management” of deciding, delegating and disappearing.
“I believe in accountability,” Berger said. “I believe in acknowledging effort and rewarding results. My line is, ‘There’s no crying in transportation.’”
David Gurska, chief operating officer of Aim Integrated Logistics, explained Berger is the guy who is leaned on for his knowledge.
“He was a very good operator, and he had the respect of all his peers,” Gurska said.
Berger plans to retire to Florida with his family, but he will still work as a consultant for Aim through the end of the year.
“That will ease me into retirement,” he said.
But as for not checking in on trucks and drivers when he sees them he says, “I don’t know if I will ever get to that point.”