Word-of-mouth keeps Gilbert's Transport in the game

Family-run business still going strong after almost 30 years, with positive word-of-mouth referrals helping it prosper

Word-of-mouth keeps Gilbert's Transport in the game
Word-of-mouth keeps Gilbert's Transport in the game

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | September 10, 2012

Family-owned operator Gilbert’s Transport Service is continuing to prosper almost 30 years on, with positive word-of-mouth referrals bringing in a steady flow of work for the business.

Gilbert’s, run by Peter and Lorraine from Adelaide, has been sending trucks to the Northern Territory along the Stuart Highway for 28 years.

Demand for its services has continued to remain steady despite the introduction of the Adelaide to Darwin rail link, with Gilbert’s recording its highest turnover during the global financial crisis.

Lorraine says work has been pouring in due to word-of-mouth spread by drivers.

"We must be doing something right. I guess the way we are getting our freight to Darwin. It is due to word-of-mouth from people telling other people that the freight gets up there with no damage to it and on time which is a crucial matter," she says.

"Being solely in control of freight ourselves and not using other people is proof that you can satisfy people’s needs and you can give good customer service if you’ve got dedicated people working for you and they do their job."

Gilbert’s carries dry goods and operates refrigerated line-haul services, sending up to 65 trailers to the NT each week. The company employs 28 drivers and operates a fleet of 33 trucks.

This year marks a 28-year-long partnership between Peter and Lorraine who have worked side by side each day, sharing the same office. Peter, 67, has been self-employed in the transport industry for nearly five decades and has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.

He left school at the age of 17, working as a driver for his family’s business. He started his own company two years later, calling it Peter Gilbert Freight Lines and basing it at Strathalbyn in South Australia. The name changed to Gilbert’s Transport Service when Lorraine became a partner in the business.

Check out the October edition of ATN to read the full story on Gilbert’s Transport Service.

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