Saturday Spotlight – Shining Light Company – Covenant Transportation Group

Why Covenant Transportation Group is this week’s Shining Light Company

Covenant Transportation Group (Symbol: CVTI) is a $650+ million freight transportation and logistics services company headquartered in Chattanooga, TN. Their mission: Be a problem-solver for every customer through a group of companies that are passionate about providing safe, courteous, and on-time service.

Covenant Transport takes its name from Scripture. Just as God made covenants with people and nations in the Bible, so Parker says that he made a covenant with God in how he would run the business (Genesis 6:18). Founder and CEO David Parker says that he told God he would run the company in a right and God-honoring way, if God would provide the needed resources. Hence, Covenant began as a startup trucking company in 1993 with only $150,000 and 25 trucks and 50 trailers. Even though the company suffered tremendously during the Great Recession (loss of over $107.5 million), Covenant has made a great recovery thanks to Parker’s strong leadership. Parker admires King David, who is described in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart — something Parker strives to be each day.

The first things that stand out about Covenant are a servant attitude and commitment to their drivers and customers. They truly seek to live out the golden rule through the CARE program – Communication, Attitude, Respect, and Excellence.  Covenant Transport was founded upon Christian principles and 25 years later that commitment has not wavered.  All Covenant trailers display a sign on the back that reads: “It is a child, not a choice.”While CEO David Parker does not wish to force his religious beliefs upon employees, he believes that a sound value system is a good way to live. Parker, a deacon at Chattanooga City Church, has committed to instilling a culture of accountability within the organization that fosters a sense of service and care. He says, “We’ve built this company to lead the industry with honesty and integrity and are steadfast in our virtues.”Covenant also has a distinct set of core values that comprise the company’s DNA. They include treating others as you would want to be treated, putting others before yourself, and acting with integrity and honesty in all business dealings.

Covenant also makes safety a top priority and strives to be an industry leader in safety initiatives and training. Drivers are thoroughly schooled in highway safety and the company makes sure they are current on the latest crime trends and prevention efforts. We all know the scary feeling of sharing the road with tractor trailers, but we sometimes forget that the drivers often have to worry about more than just their blind spots. Hauling a load of hazardous materials takes an even greater level of caution, as do certain types of products that are frequent targets for theft and organized crime. Covenant has been the recipient of numerous safety awards over the years for these efforts, and rewards its drivers for being accident-free. Those who have driven either one or two million consecutive, accident-free miles with the company become members of the 40 or 80 Club. The 40 and 80 represent the equivalent number of times around the globe without an accident. At the start of 2011, there were 53 drivers in the 40 Club and six in the 80 Club. That’s a total of 65 million accident-free miles, or the equivalent distance of 2,600 times around the globe for these drivers alone.

As a leading advocate of the EPA’s SmartWay Program, Covenant is working towards reducing fuel consumption and minimizing emissions into the environment. They have instituted a number of technology enhancements to their fleet as well as several policy and procedure changes in their effort to be good environmental stewards.

Finally, Covenant seeks to be a blessing to our military veterans. They have implemented an innovative career placement program that transitions recently separated or retired military veterans into truck driving careers. The program is called MPACT: Military Placement at Covenant Transport and allows veterans to train with a Covenant master trainer through a one-year, three-phase program using their G.I. Bill benefits.

Covenant Transport was founded on Christian principles. However, Covenant’s stated values are much more than mere talk. The company’s commitment to operating by the Golden Rule, customer-first servant attitude, and strong integrity-based industry leadership make it clear that they understand the true purpose of business—to be an engine of blessing. For these reasons and many more, we are proud to spotlight Covenant Transport as this week’s Shining Light Company!


DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time