August 25, 2017

The Sky’s the Limit for Commercial Trailer Leasing


Strategic partnership and commitment to customers are key ingredients to consistent, nationwide growth

Family owned and run since 1964, Thermo King customer Commercial Trailer Leasing, Inc. (CTL) has embraced change, growth and new opportunities from its beginning. The company, which was founded by Joseph and Stephen Eisen, started out as a dry freight/flatbed local trailer lessor company servicing the New York and New Jersey area. Today, CTL is a full-service trailer leasing company that has grown its fleet to more than 15,000 units, including refrigerated trailers and specialty equipment, and services a much broader and more diverse customer base that extends throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

“Our headquarters remain in Roseland, New Jersey, but we have locations in seven other states, including Florida, Texas, Ohio, California, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee,” said CEO David Eisen, who is the third generation in the business, along with brother-in-law Gregg Gottsegen who serves as president.

CTL’s expansion into the refrigeration market, and subsequent partnership with Thermo King, are contributors to the company’s expanding footprint. “My grandfather and father made no qualms about growing our services and customer base, and always stressed the importance of having strong vendor partners to ensure success. We dabbled in refrigeration for a couple of years before finding Donny Ebenstein at Thermo King East in 2009, who proved to be the dependable refrigeration partner we needed for that market.”

David continued, “More than a vendor, Donny and Thermo King have become our strategic partners, helping us grow our fleet to approximately 2,000 pieces, from single-temperature, to multi-temperature, to fully-automated, moveable floor refrigerated equipment, and this includes a new business model we added a few years ago – chassis’ with Thermo King generator sets. In addition, we pride ourselves on being a full-service provider, and our relationship with Thermo King allows us to offer telematics capabilities, including monitoring, on both the refrigerated trailers and the generator sets.”

Thermo King customer Commercial Trailer Leasing has built a reputation for superior service, providing the right—and often very specialized--specifications to meet individual cus-tomer needs. Representing the third and fourth generations of the company are (L-R): Ryan Gottsegen, Gregg Gottsegen, David Eisen and Corey Eisen.

Dependable Equipment, Dependable Service

CTL has built a reputation for superior service, providing the right—and often very specialized--specifications to meet individual customer needs. “CTL goes above and beyond to provide for its customers and is not afraid to tackle customized trailers or unique applications,” said Thermo King District Sales Manager Frank Pryzwara. “They build to suit for their customers, and, as a result, have a lot of diversification in their equipment. No doubt, CTL has made a name for itself in the leasing industry.”

Naturally, the company is committed to offering the most advanced, reliable equipment available. On the refrigeration side, it is vital.

“We take time to understand our customers and to learn about their operations and how they will run the equipment. Then we bring in Donny and Thermo King to learn the ‘who, what, why, where and how’ in order to specify the right products for the application, and this includes meeting environmental and food safety requirements. We believe this sets us apart from other leasing companies,” said David. “Our customers lease an average of five years, so we need to get it right from the beginning.”

From a refrigeration unit stand-point, CTL chooses Thermo King’s Precedent® trailer units today -- both single- and multi-temperature, which include the electric standby feature. They also have some previous-generation SB units still in their fleet.

“All models have performed extremely well for us,” said David, “and backing us up is the Thermo King dealer network. We use them exclusively for maintenance and service, and with our trailers domiciled around the country, we interact with many different dealership locations. This is a tremendous value to us. We are comfortable with the service standards we receive wherever we go and are always treated well. Thermo King stands behind us and has proven the value of its brand.”

Also setting CTL apart from the competition is its 24-hour fleet tracking capabilities. Utilizing Thermo King’s TracKing® connected solutions system, CTL monitors and tracks all of its refrigeration units to be more proactive and provide a better service. As David explained, “before telematics, we had to be reactive. Now we can be proactive when it comes to maintenance and servicing, and the technology also gives us visibility if there is a problem with the load, which allows us to notify the customer.”

According to CTL, the benefits are two-fold: One, they can plan maintenance scheduling that is conducive to trailer location and the closest Thermo King dealer. This gives them better control – and understanding – of overall maintenance costs and management. And two, if they do see a unit problem, they can notify the customer and facilitate assistance if needed. “Even though many of our customers are also monitoring the TracKing website, our proactive approach contributes to our superior service reputation.”

And to ensure they have visibility on the older refrigeration models in its fleet, CTL has invested in more than 50 Thermo King TempuTrac™ systems, a simple stand-alone management solution that offers basic monitoring capabilities like asset location, temperature tracking and door openings, and helps satisfy Food Safety Modernization Act requirements. 

Exploring New Opportunities at Port

CTL recognized an opportunity a few years back when the responsibility of moving containers around marine ports was put on the end user. Its relationship with Thermo King made possible an offering of specialized chassis’ with generator sets so that refrigerated containers could be transported with shore power built into the frame of the trailer. To date, CTL has installed hundreds of Thermo King SG-4000 undermount generator sets, which are part of Thermo King’s Marine product division. The offering is being very well received on both coasts, particularly by warehouse customers who provide container transportation for their customers. Keeping with CTL’s full service business model, the equipment also comes with connected solutions provided through Thermo King.

“Donny was instrumental in making this business model come together for us, working with the Thermo King corporate team, including its global marine group, to specify and build the right configuration,” said Business Development Executive Corey Eisen, who, along with cousin Ryan Gottsegen, represents a fourth generation in the family-run business.

“Thermo King enabled our vision to come to fruition, and we believe that we were the first leasing company to enter this market space.”

Most importantly, customer feedback has been very positive. “As in their other business segments, CTL takes care of the service and maintenance of the equipment so that their customers can concentrate on running their own business,” said Donny. “They are a company that is completely focused on their customers – making sure they are providing the products and services that will help customers be more efficient. This is why they continue to grow and be successful. It’s a pleasure to partner with them.”

Bright Future

With strategic partners in place and a vision for the future, CTL’s growth opportunities are unlimited. “We can put refrigerated trailers anywhere, and with Thermo King as our partner, we will continue to actively and aggressively grow the refrigerated portion of our fleet – both trailer units and generator sets. The confidence we have in them, and they in us, makes for a mutually-beneficial partnership.”

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For more information about CTL and its nationwide leasing capabilities, visit