- Honor the personal worth of all people by recognizing and respecting their space, opinions and contributions.
- Educate continually as it is essential to progress.
- Act efficiently, expediently and profitably without compromise to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior.
- Risk-take intelligently.
- Team build through creative thinking, expressions of opinion, and cooperative working relationships.
In 1998 Portage Transport Service, owned and operated by the late Robert Gallagher of Oakville and Ron Johnson of Winnipeg, had a terminal in Winnipeg and in Portage la Prairie. Its main purpose was to be a freight courier service linking Winnipeg to Portage la Prairie, Brandon, Dauphin and all points between. Freight came into Winnipeg from all over the world via many large carriers and many modes of transportation. Freight was gathered by the Winnipeg terminal and shipped to the Portage terminal twice each day. It was then distributed between Portage and *West* trucks and brought to the customer, often the same day.
During this time and for 10 years prior, Bernie Driedger of Portage la Prairie was busy adding miles to the odometer of his truck through flat deck service for various Canadian-based companies, all the while thinking he would like to manage a fleet of his own some day. He always paid careful attention not only to the freight he was carrying, but to how the companies he was working for were managed. By spring of 1998, his health was no longer such that he could drive the miles needed to the do the job. Plus he had made a promise to his young daughter that by the time she was a certain age, he would have a job that enabled him to be home each night for supper. That deadline was looming.
Bernie was at this time renting space in Portage Transport Service’s shop to park his truck when he was at home. Through conversations with PTS staff and owners, he became aware that the company was for sale. On August 31, 1998, Portage Transport Service became Portage Transport (1998), owned and operated by Bernie and Liz Driedger.
The company continued the courier service for a number of years but also added a short-haul truck load division immediately to meet the needs of several local manufacturing companies. However, it soon became apparent that Bernie’s heart and expertise lay in moving freight over longer distances. A long haul reefer division was born in 2002 and the courier division was sold to Gardewine North.
Portage Transport operates today as a vibrant, growing company in which beats a heart for customer and driver satisfaction. Today, the company has a fleet of 91 trucks pulling reefers and vans. Slow, steady growth has provided a firm foundation for future opportunities.
Bernie’s developer and entrepreneurial talents are an asset to meeting the ever-changing challenges facing the transportation industry. His philosophy is literally based on when one door closes, another one opens. A new and fresh vision for the company’s direction provides a continual atmosphere of excitement and anticipation.