DATELINE: September 8, 2003 CONTACT: Consuelo Miller (773-363-0437)

With truck driving a family tradition, it was a natural step for the Butler-Tillman clan to establish its own independent trucking business. What is special about Butler-Tillman Express Trucking (B-T Express) is that it is one of the few African American food-grade tanker companies. It is owned by Mr. Jerry Butler, Butler’s wife and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Tillman.

Carry Transit, a division of Superior Bulk Logistics, Inc., offered B-T Express the kind of opportunity that made the investment worthwhile. “Our customers, especially Pepsico, want companies which service them to demonstrate the same commitment to minority business growth that they do,” according to Jim Blackmon, President of Carry. “It just made sense from a customer service point of view to sub-contract part of our business to a minority firm.” Carry is located in Bridgeview, Illinois.

The problem for Carry was that the United States Food and Drug Administration, as well as Carry’s customers, require equipment coming into contact with consumable products to meet rigid standards. “There weren’t the right companies with the right machinery in the area”, said Conni Miller of The Circle Group, Inc., the consulting firm that established a strategic alliance between the two trucking firms. “Here we have a family of experienced truckers. We presented a sound business plan in order to finance the equipment.”

“We also had to ensure that B-T Express maintained its independence, while crafting an agreement that would meet all of the demands of the industry” said Miller. B-T Express will continue to seek dry hauling business as it builds a niche in bulk liquids. Having gained a foothold with such national accounts as Pepsi and Miller Beer, the company is proving to be a competent, efficient and safe transportation provider.

Carry Transit expects to increase its subcontracts to B-T as B-T acquires additional equipment, recruits and trains drivers, especially those with liquid hauling experience. Mr. Butler points out that a person driving a vehicle loaded with tons of liquid product has to be able to maneuver in ways significantly different from one who is driving dry goods.

B-T Express expects to make a substantial mark as a competitor in the trucking industry, not just as an MBE company. Butler-Tillman Express Trucking is based in Westville, Indiana.

Consuelo R. Miller
The Circle Group, Inc.
6901 South Oglesby AV, Ste. 7B
Chicago, IL 60649

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