2018 has been a momentous year for the Musket Group of Companies, marking the beginning of our 25th year in business. In celebration of this milestone achievement, the Musket family is looking back at how the corporation evolved from humble beginnings into one of Ontario’s premiere shipping carriers.
History at a Glance
Originally founded in 1952 under the name Melburn Truck Lines Inc., the company was primarily a Fruit & Vegetable produce contract carrier.
In the early-1980’s, the company was acquired by the Fingold family who promptly merged Melburn Truck Lines, Inc. with the group of companies they owned known as Slater Steel Corp., a publicly traded entity. In the mid-1980’s, Melburn Truck Lines Inc. started getting involved with the transportation of intermodal containers from various USNE ports into Toronto. It quickly grew into one of the most recognizable and respected intermodal carriers in the region.
Musket Transport Ltd was incorporated in 1993 by C.E.O. and President Andy Balij in partnership with Vice President Service & Technical Support Wojtek Swiercz. Andy was responsible for sales and dispatch/operations, while Wojtek took charge of maintenance, the garage and servicing the trucks. Musket quickly became widely respected for its proficiency.
In March 1999, Musket acquired and merged with Melburn to become Ontario’s largest intermodal carrier. Melburn’s decades of experience in the container carrier sector combined with Musket’s proficiency in transport created a powerhouse in the intermodal and trailer industry.
Today, the Mississauga-based Musket Transport is known as Ontario’s premier carrier for domestic intermodal and international ocean containers, providing reliable delivery service to and from multiple terminals and rail ramps in Ontario and Quebec including the U.S. Northeast ports. We also provide over-the-road trailer services throughout Canada and the central and northeast United States and operate a highly-skilled logistics department that coordinates the movements of cargo to and from North American ports and railways.
The Musket Mission
In large part, Musket’s growth and success over the last 25 years can be attributed to the simplicity of our mission and our laser focus on taking the actions necessary to achieve it. We strive to provide customers with continuously improving transportation solutions and services that help us compete and achieve or maintain our position as industry leaders. The decisions we make here at Musket align with our vision of being recognized by our competitors, customers, the community and our employees as the industry leader in transportation and related services. We continue to grow stronger each year because of our enthusiasm, dedication, and drive to constantly evolve and improve through electronic innovation, teamwork, and unshakable ethics.
In our 25 years of business, Musket has earned the confidence of a diverse range of companies who know they can depend on us to deliver their products anywhere in North America safely and on schedule. Our clients represent nearly every sector, and range from local Ontario-based companies to global brands like Ferrero, Canadian Tire, major international freight forwarders/brokers, Nestle, and Atlantic Packing. We are primary house carriers of major shipping giants such as MSC, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd. Musket Transport continues to thrive because of the continued support, loyalty and confidence of our clients and employees. Without them, we would not be where we are today.
The Musket Difference
Because we have been leaders in transportation for a quarter of a century, our clients benefit from our expertise and the many lessons we have learned along the way. Musket Transport is the most efficient Dry Van Trailer Service to the Eastern US and Midwest States. With experienced operations and customer service teams backed by the most sophisticated easy-to-use tracking technologies, Musket has the knowledge and capacity necessary to meet simple and complex shipping needs. Our logistics team services the entire Northern American continent with access to various specialized equipment to meet any customer requirements.
Musket boasts a fleet of 250+ TL/LTL highway trucks, 400+ 53′ Dry Van Trailers, and 600+ chassis for moving shipping containers. Our three GTA-based terminals, two of which are Canada Customs bonded, are patrolled 24/7 and have indoor and outdoor storage for 6,000+ containers. We offer specialized equipment for oversized loads such as 3-axle step decks, lowboys, double extendable drops and more. Musket also has a full-service garage that ensures that every vehicle meets both the Ministry of Transport and US Department of Transport’s stringent requirements. Easy-to-use tracking technology, specialized logistics equipment, HazMat certified drivers and the capability to handle oversized loads all help the company maintain its position as an industry leader in transportation solutions and services.
- Our IT department works intimately with operations in order to ensure that the solutions and software they develop meet the precise needs of operations and the company as a whole.
- Our Driver Management and teams work closely together to ensure that drivers are prepared to meet the demands of the volume of work.
- Driver Management Team and Operations provide valuable feedback to CHET regarding the quality of drivers being trained.
It Takes a Village
It goes without saying that it takes a dedicated and skilled team to ensure operations at Musket Transport room without a glitch. Musket has 350 employees who fulfill a number of roles, from drivers and supporting staff to the team manning Musket’s brokerage division. Each individual plays an integral part in delivering the quality, dependable service Musket has built its name on.
Established in 2012, MTL Brokerage and Logistics creates synergies and efficiencies in our container operations and trailer operations divisions so we can better serve clients’ needs. MTL is staffed with employees who boast over 45+ years of experience providing solutions for customers’ logistics needs with unmatched dedicated customer service. Passionate about delivering customer satisfaction, our team continuously strives to improve service for both internal and external customers. The MTL Logistics mission is simple: To maintain and improve on industry standards and continuously deliver customer satisfaction with sustainable practices in technology, communication, and partnerships. Every day, our team works tirelessly to achieve that mission.
CHET – First Choice Driver’s Training
Another thing that separates Musket from other carriers is our commitment to quality driver education. Because drivers are a crucial component of Musket’s success, we operate Commercial Heavy Equipment Training Ltd. (CHET), an in-house driving school sanctioned by the Ministry of Training and the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario. The school produces industry-recognized AZ and DZ commercial drivers and many successful graduates are offered positions at Musket. In fact, we hire 85% of the students we train!
Drivers appreciate that at Musket Transport, they are truly part of a team. Musket attracts and maintains drivers by making them feel like the invaluable, respected members of the team they are. Drivers who have family and personal responsibilities appreciate Musket’s effort to ensure that they are only away from home one night at a time, three nights a week. Additionally, drivers receive an attractive benefits package and there is someone on staff dedicated to ensuring their voices are heard and needs are met.
Looking Forward – What’s on the Horizon?
At Musket Transport, we’re always striving to maintain relevance and achieve excellence. This requires a dedicated commitment to pursuing continuous growth and adapting to necessary changes. Here are just a few ways we are working to maintain our position as leaders in the intermodal and trailer transportation industry:
- We’re expanding reefer (refrigerator unit) capacity at our Southdown terminal to enable us to meet the growing demand for shipping refrigerated cargo
- We’re adding new “super B-train” chassis that allow us to pull up to 60-foot containers at once
- We’re striving to become the #1 employer in our industry by constantly re-evaluating our competitive rates and benefits.
- We’re continuously investing in new software development to improve operations and on-time delivery.
- We’re dedicated to giving back to our community by participating, spearheading and supporting more local charities and community-driven events.
Whether we’re picking up a shipment from a port or dropping off at a busy Toronto terminal, Musket Transport Ltd. has earned a reputation as a carrier that businesses can trust to transport their products safely and expediently. From shipping to logistics to storage, Musket Transport Ltd. has you covered. Here’s to another 25 years of dedicated service.
In celebration of our 25 years, we invited our employees, customers, vendors, community partners and special guests to our BBQ, Thu., Sep. 20th, 2018. Click here to view our full photo album. Special thank you to the Mayor of Mississauga Bonnie Crombie for attending and celebrating our 25th with us!