After a career spent working for steamship lines - beginning as an office boy - Richard Amato fulfilled his wish to become his own boss 24 years ago by founding O.S.T. Trucking Co., inc. Along with three other partners, he founded a small, local, drayage company.
Amato slowly grew O.S.T. from a drayage agent into a more full-service trucking company. In 1989 Amato made the decision to make O.S.T. a greater force at the Port of Baltimore. "We made a commitment to our customers and to the port," explains Amato, "and we began to purchase trucks, chassis, and facilities." At the time, O.S.T.'s original Fleet consisted of 13 leased trucks.
Today O.S.T. is one of the port's most prominent trucking firms, offering not only a large fleet of tractors and trailers but warehousing and storage areas. The fleet- owned almost entirely by O.S.T - now consists of nearly 200 container chassis (100 of which are of the popular tri-axle type for 20 foot containers), 170 tractors, and numerous vans and trailers. O.S.T. primarily serves customers in the east and mid-west, but has authority to operate in 48 States. O.S.T. even buys and sells containers now, in response to it's customers' requests. The company's attention to those requests has played a big part in it's growth and success. "We really listen to our customers' needs," says Amato. "We started our warehousing operations because of those needs, and any kind of equipment our customers want, we have it."
O.S.T.'s headquarters is based just two miles from the Dundalk Marine Terminal at a facility the company purchased in 1996. This site provides a sizable warehousing capacity of 300,000 square feet of general space, plus 40,000 square feet of food grade space. There is also a container yard that has 13 acres of outside storage space monitored by video cameras, plus a bonded 20,000-square-foot Container Freight Station (CFS) that boasts a secure area for shipments needing U.S. Customs clearance. The company also offers container stuffing for logs and wood products. In addition, it provides electronic data for many of it's customers. there are even three employees who strictly handle the company's training, and certification needs.
An additional 10,000-square-foot warehouse area serves as O.S.T.'s maintenance shop, a feature that is part of O.S.T.'s steady growth. "It's a real advantage to our customers," says Edward Peach, President of O.S.T., who has spent his entire career in trucking, warehousing, and logistics. "With our own maintenance facilities, we can keep things running, and we conduct regular inspections on all of our equipment. It has truly helped build us into a full service company."
O.S.T. has doubled in size in the past five years, according to Amato, adding not only equipment but services, such as forest product handling and some bulk material handling. "We're even doing some packing and crating now"."We try to be a one-stop shop in providing logistics for our customers. We've grown more than any other intermodal trucking company based in Baltimore. But we're also very rate conscious. We always try to give excellent service at a very competitive rate."
O.S.T. now employs roughly 220 people in five offices across the eastern United States. In addition to it's Baltimore headquarters, there are regional offices in Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Georgia. O.S.T. is looking to grow into even more areas, at it's usual steady pace. "We take our time growing", assures Ed Peach. "We like to take solid steps".