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1901 Pratt Blvd | Elk Grove Village, Il. 60007 | www.atlassn.com

Sretko Krsic's first name means "lucky" in his native Serbian language, and there does seem to be an element of luck in much of his life. He was fortunate enough to have left the former Yugoslavia before the wars that resulted in the breakup of that country in the 1990s. After moving to the Chicago area, he found work driving delivery trucks, eventually managing to buy two trucks with a partner. In a not-so-lucky twist of fate, his partner moved back to Serbia. Left with the trucks, Sretko shifted strategies by leasing them out to another carrier. As good luck would have it, a fellow Serbian (from the same village) named Nenad Ignjatovic saw a business opportunity and together they grew the company to a fleet of five trucks eventually starting a dispatch company in 2005.

"I guess you could say there was some luck involved in it, but it also took a lot of hard work," Sretko says of how they built Atlas SN from a small struggling company with two trucks and two employees to a successful freight transportation and logistics corporation. "Nenad and I each worked other jobs while growing the company." And grow they have.

Today, Atlas hauls goods throughout all of North America for hundreds of customers with a fleet of 250 vehicles and brings in about $40 million a year. By 2009, the company was successful enough to move into a 27,000-square-foot facility at 1901 Pratt Boulevard in Elk Grove Village.

Atlas SN transports what is known in the trucking industry as FAK (Freight of All Kinds), which can run the gamut from food and beverages, retail items, electronics, printed matter, and time-sensitive mail to raw materials, manufacturing and distribution merchandise, and natural disaster relief supplies. Atlas offers a full range of services to its customers including both FTL (Full Truck Load) and LTL (Less than Truck Load) capabilities, drop trailer service, flatbed trailer service, refrigerated trucking, expedited team service, customized metrics reporting, business document hosting, and 24-hour customer service.

Atlas also specializes in customizing transportation solutions for clients who may have particular shipping needs such as OTR (Over-The-Road, which is long-distance cross-country or international trucking), use of truck-only dedicated lanes, or regional cartage (transporting goods within a certain distance).

"Some customers want their products assembled closer to their destination point in order to save on fuel costs," says Sretko. Nenad adds, "Some customers may need increased capacity during certain times of the year because of seasonal surges. Whatever it is they want, our brokerage group will coordinate the trucks and personnel they need and design a program that meets their requirements."

Atlas's fleet of transportation vehicles includes 175 53-foot dry vans (enclosed, non-climate controlled trailers for general cargo), 250 dry van tractors (powered units with extra wheels and axles used for pulling trailers), 25 refrigerated units for perishable items, 25 flatbed (non-enclosed) trucks, and 25 food grade tankers for liquid and dry food products. All company vehicles are equipped with satellite tracking to provide up-to-date tracing information.

The efficient deployment of all of these vehicles is handled by Atlas's logistics and dispatching teams, which use an array of high-technology tools that link all departments and provide real-time information for accurate tracking and tracing.

"For example," says Sretko, "Atlas's ProTransport trucking management software features a live Truck/Load board that allows our logistics coordinators to enter and track truck and trailer locations, as well as actual, estimated and scheduled date and time of arrival. We also have EDI or Electronic Data Interchange capability, and embedded Microsoft MapPoint to provide accurate distance calculation and mapping capability. This technology allows us to ensure on-time pick-up and delivery."

The ProTransport system also enables Atlas SN to provide complete billing and accounting services, including fully customized metrics reports that allow customers to assess not only their own business goals, but also Atlas's performance in helping them meet those goals.

"We maintain complete transparency in all of our communications with drivers, load planners, dispatchers, and customers," says Nenad. "We also give our customers 24-hour dispatch service 365 days of the year, including holidays, so they will always know the status of their shipments."

Sretko says that the employee culture at Atlas SN emphasizes integrity, professionalism, and diversity. Many employees come from multi-cultural backgrounds. All are fully trained and qualified and are expected to act as representatives of the company's values.

"Our employees pride themselves on their participation in a work environment where they contribute their own positive energy to their professional and personal growth," Sretko affirms.

A Product of Matthew D. Walker Publishing, LLC © 2012