When Don Schneider retired as president and chief executive officer of Schneider National in 2002, the entire transportation industry recognized the significance of the moment.
Not only had Schneider been at the helm of one of the nation’s largest trucking companies for decades, but he’d grown the company his father founded into a powerhouse of innovation. Nearly a decade later, Schneider’s influence is still being heralded by the industry he advanced. On March 11, 2011, the Transportation Research Forum (an independent organization of transportation professionals) presented its President’s Award to Don Schneider.
The President’s Award has been given annually since 2007 to an individual in transportation who has exhibited leadership and innovation on a regional or national scale that has resulted in improving mobility of freight and/or people. Honorees must also have made significant contributions to the industry by establishing improved practices, standards, or a broader and futuristic vision for transportation.
Under Schneider’s leadership, Schneider National was the first trucking company to use satellite communication systems for its trucks and their loads. Schneider made human investments as well. He advocated giving employees flexibility, and his investments in technology allowed drivers to set their own routes with greater efficiency.
When Schneider retired in 2002, the company employed 19,000 people and had more than 42,000 trailers delivering goods each day. Today Schneider National is a leading provider of transportation, logistics, and related services, serving more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies.
President’s Award winners are selected by past presidents of the Transportation Research Forum. The award is presented at the group’s annual TRF Forum.