When Larry Barnes approached Kevin Savoy, vice president of logistics at Abbeville, Ala.-based Greenbush Logistics, Inc. (GLI), he never imagined where it would lead.
Barnes, who was living and working in Jacksonville, Fla., was interested in contracting to broker GLI’s transportation needs with independent haulers. He had a long-standing relationship with Landstar, the world’s largest owner-operator company, and planned to open his own business under Landstar’s umbrella.
Savoy, however, had another idea.
“We’ve been thinking about doing it ourselves internally, but we just can’t find the right guy,” Savoy told Barnes. “Come on up here and meet with us.”
Barnes did just that. And in February he joined the Greenbush Logistics family as freight broker.
“From my perspective, it’s going well,” Barnes says. “We’ve grown our fleet of independent contractors who are hauling for us. We’ve really ramped up our trucks. Our delivery times have greatly improved.
“One of our corporate goals with the startup of this division was to eliminate the need for sawmills to provide transportation solutions for our parent company, Great Southern Wood Preserving. We wanted to take the bull by the horns and kind of manage it ourselves. We’ve been able to make a lot of progress.
“We’re moving the ball down the field. We’ve kind of made a lot of first downs, but we haven’t thrown that Hail Mary and scored the touchdown yet.”
Originally from Anniston, Barnes grew up in Jacksonville. He knows something about competing, and about winning.
A star pitcher at Inglewood High School in Jacksonville, he signed with the University of Georgia’s baseball team. But he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and decided to pursue his dream of playing in the major leagues.
Barnes rose as high as Double-A before deciding in 1997 that it would be best for him and his family to move in another direction.
There are times, he says, when he wonders what might have been.
“I have my moments,” Barnes says. “I find myself thinking I’ve still got it in me, but I really take the approach in life that I don’t second-guess those kinds of things.”
It was during his baseball career that Barnes was introduced to the logistics industry. He attended the University of North Florida and graduated from Webber International.
“I try to just take life as it’s dealt to me,” Barnes says. “It’s definitely been an adventure.”
Barnes still resides in Jacksonville, though he spends considerable time at the Greenbush Logistics office in Abbeville.
He and his wife, Rebekah, have three daughters – Kayla, 10; Lauren, 5; and Brooke, 1.