Breakbulk NextGen – Ben Miller

National Accounts Manager, ATS Trucking

Nominated by:
An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:
“Very driven and results oriented person, focusing on improving safety in the trucking industry.”

How you chose this industry:
After accepting my job offer from ATS, I discovered there was much more to the company and industry than just trucking. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I only experienced seeing an occasional flatbed truck at the one stop light in town, or in traveling out of the area. Since then, I’ve learned there is so much more out there, as in the project industry, which I’ve found to be home.

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:
The opportunity to participate in improving local and global infrastructure is pretty cool. For example, participating in a project that changes how we get power when we flip on our lights at home, or fill up at the pump. How we as an industry participate in these projects can make a positive impact on everyday living.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:
I have a few important people in mind, but my biggest mentor is my father. He’s one of the smartest and hardest working people I know. He has been a great resource for me personally, obviously, but also professionally. At an early age, I started working for him at the family business, farm machinery dealership, and learned so much. I saw firsthand what it took watching him put in the hours during harvest season, working with customers, all the while running a successful business.

Professional background:
Since earning my bachelor’s degree, I’ve primarily held sales positions at ATS. My current role is overall management of our national accounts within the flatbed specialized and heavy-haul divisions of ATS. This includes sales and service for some of our largest engineering, procurement and construction companies, power original equipment manufacturers, and oil and gas customers.

Management style:
I’m all about team atmosphere. No one is perfect, including myself, so I’m always asking lots of questions and exchanging strengths among the team. If I can learn something, too, in the process, that’s a win. Since our industry changes so often, I find it is important to stay engaged daily.

Long-term professional goals:
I hope to continue to grow with the industry, and overall become a well-rounded expert in my profession. I have a lot to learn yet, so by staying engaged regularly with our senior industry professionals, I hope to achieve that goal.

Role as a developing industry leader:
I hope to stay on the leading edge of innovations that will improve our industry, and bring them directly to our customers. Bringing light to new technology in trucking that can have a positive impact in project safety is one example.

Most important industry issue:
Alarmingly, huge court settlements against the commercial trucking industry. These have even been named “nuclear lawsuits,” due to the size of the settlement to the plaintiff. This is a real concern for cargo owners, carriers and insurance companies alike. It’s not all doom-and-gloom though, as there is an influx of new technologies coming, including sensors, cameras and autonomous technology. These new technologies will help protect shippers and carriers by providing a more accurate snapshot of what’s happening on the roads, which is a vital resource when it comes to settling claims.