Capacity challenges, tariff impacts grappled with at New Orleans event

While tens of thousands of sports entertainment aficionados were throwing down less than a mile away at WrestleMania 34 events at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a couple hundred participants in the 10th anniversary Cargo Connections Conference found themselves grappling with far more serious issues.

The CCC, hosted April 8-10 by the Port of New Orleans at The Chicory event venue, has helped attending industry leaders be better equipped to wrestle with congestion and capacity challenges but left them still worried about uncertain impacts of new U.S. import tariffs while encouraged by projections of a rebound of the breakbulk and multipurpose sector.

To read more, visit the American Journal of Transportation.

US intermodal rail fluidity improves, but larger questions remain

PALM DESERT, California – The US intermodal rail supply chain, exceedingly slow this winter, has eased over the last three to four weeks, a welcome relief to beleaguered shippers ueffering from shipment delays ranging from five to 10 business days.

Calmer weather and a downshift in manufacturing following the Lunar New Year provided a pause for an over stressed railroad network. Nevertheless, demand remains elevated and train speeds are about two miles per hour slower, or 4 percent down compared with the prior year, based on conversations with intermodal marketing companies (IMCs) and data from the American Association of Railroads (AAR). Data from the Intermodal Association of North America also showed that volumes were up 8.1 percent in March on a year-over-year and sequential basis, fueled by double-digit growth from February in domestic intermodal and a smaller gain on the international side.

To read more visit the Journal of Commerce.

IMC Companies Addresses Driver Shortage with Largest Pay Raise in Company History

(Memphis, TN) – Drivers for Memphis-based Intermodal Cartage Company, part of the IMC Companies family of brands, will get a pay raise averaging more than 30%, effective April 15. This is the largest pay raise in the company’s history.

This proactive increase by the nation’s largest, marine drayage company is in response to the critical driver shortage. Currently 90,000 drivers are needed nationwide and, according to the American Trucking Association, hundreds of thousands of new drivers will be needed to meet the rising demand over the next decade. IMC Companies is also involved with the American Trucking Association and supports legislation to expand interstate trucking opportunities to include drivers between the ages of 18 and 21.

“The ATA notes that more than 70% of goods consumed in our country are moved by truck, so investing in drivers literally keeps America moving,” said Mark H. George, Chairman of IMC Companies. “Our effort to increase driver pay ensures that we will continue to be able to provide the superior service on which our customers depend.”

The average age of a commercial truck driver is 55 years old and only 6% of truck drivers are female, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

“Proactive efforts like ours, paired with an emphasis on quality equipment and efficiency at the rails, ports and customer sites, will help us to work together through the driver shortage,” says George. “Our goal is to retain seasoned drivers while attracting new talent to our growing industry.”

About IMC Companies:

IMC Companies is a national network of intermodal logistics businesses providing an array of services including container drayage, expedited services, customs brokerage, truck brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, chassis provisioning and secured container storage. IMC Companies has more than 2,300 team members dedicated to providing exceptional international supply chain solutions. The IMC Companies family of brands includes Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS), DNJ Intermodal Services (DNJ), Gulf Intermodal Services (GIS), H&M Intermodal Services, IMC Global Solutions (IGS), Intermodal Cartage Company (IMCG), National Drayage Services (NDS), Ohio Intermodal Services (OIS), and Progressive Transportation Services (PTS). To learn more about the IMC Companies family of brands, visit www.imccompanies.com.

IMC Official Discusses Transportation Challenges

Although Memphis has long been known as America’s distribution center, simply being in the right place at the right time isn’t always enough.

For example, a driver and chassis shortage is crippling the city’s supply chain, said Donna Lemm, IMC Companies’ executive vice president of national sales. Read more at the Daily News.

Joe Soto helps lead Hurricane Relief Efforts in Houston

In an instant, lives can change drastically. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. In times of trouble, it’s how you react and act that can make all the difference.

So, when Hurricane Harvey flooded homes and businesses in late August, devastating the lives of citizens in and around Houston, Joe Soto took relief efforts into his own hands at NDS.

“When disaster strikes in your own backyard, you must come together as a community. This is when it’s most important to lean on one another to ensure we all get back on our feet.”

–Joe Soto, Owner Operator

As the water rose in Louisiana and Texas following Hurricane Harvey’s landfall, IMC Companies began collecting goods to send to La Porte, Texas, where NDS and Gulf Intermodal would serve as distribution centers for families in need.

“We were notified that donations were on the way from Memphis, but the need was growing faster than they could get to Houston,” said James Frederick, VP of business development at NDS. “I was told that Joe and his wife may be able to get additional goods sooner.”

Within hours, Joe and his wife secured multiple refrigerated containers stocked with food from the Houston Food Bank to be placed at NDS, Gulf Intermodal, South Houston’s City Hall and other points of distribution.

“We contacted mayors, judges, senators, public officials, anyone we could get on the phone,” said Joe. “Any connection I had from serving as mayor in South Houston for the past 12 years, I used.”

Soon NDS was also being flooded… with goods from San Antonio and Dallas, and from as far as Mexico and Kentucky. Combined with donations from their IMC Companies family, NDS and Gulf Intermodal were able to serve thousands of families in the area.

“Team members from NDS and Gulf Intermodal volunteered their time after hours and on weekends to deliver goods to individuals in need and assist with donation pickup,” said Joe. “To this day, we’re involved in ongoing relief efforts.”

“Relief could be needed for years to come,” he said. “But, we’ll be right here to help.”

Assets on both sides of river cited by companies wanting to locate in region

ST. LOUIS – A job-ready workforce, lower cost of living, freight assets, growth potential and a lack of traffic congestion compared to other U.S. cities are among the top reasons given by several companies in the logistics industry as to why they have established businesses operations in the St. Louis region.

Representatives from Procter & Gamble, DNJ Intermodal Services, LLC, and Giltner St. Louis participated in a recent panel discussion hosted by the St. Louis Regional Freightway. In addition to transportation, trucking and manufacturing sector participation, representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the St. Louis Development Corporation took part in the panel discussion on January 17 in St. Louis. To read more, visit the Illinois Business Journal.

IMC Companies celebrates longtime team members

IMC Companies LLC recently held its annual Christmas party, with staffers from the intermodal company’s family of brands gathering at the FedEx Event Center in Shelby Farms Park to recognize longtime team members.

“We strive for the highest standards of service in the intermodal industry,” said IMC chairman Mark H. George. “And, we are proud to honor those individuals who have helped us achieve that mission during their decades of service.” To read more, visit The Memphis Business Journal.

Chairman explains why his co. is expanding to NYC, Philly

With its latest acquisition, a Memphis-based intermodal logistics company is adding two more dots to its map and establishing a new regional headquarters.

IMC Cos., which coordinates intermodal drayage of international shipments, acquired Dec. 12 the marine drayage and depot operations of New Jersey-based H&M Terminal Transport.

“Our primary interest was expanding in a new market where IMC did not have a presence — the Northeast,” said Mark H. George, chairman of IMC Cos. “They had six locations, and four, we already had a dot on the map. Two, we did not: New York and Philadelphia.” To read more, visit the Memphis Business Journal.

IMC Companies expands to New Jersey and Philadelphia.

(Memphis, TN) – IMC Companies, a Memphis-based leader in nationwide intermodal logistics, has added another top-tier company to its family of brands. Effective December 12, IMC Companies has acquired the drayage and depot operations of H&M Terminal Transport. The company will operate under the name H&M Intermodal Services, as part of IMC Companies.

This brings the number of brands under the IMC Companies umbrella to nine including Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS), DNJ Intermodal Services (DNJ), Gulf Intermodal Services (GIS), IMC Global Solutions (IGS), Intermodal Cartage Company (IMCG), National Drayage Services (NDS), Ohio Intermodal Services (OIS), Progressive Transportation Services (PTS) and now, H&M Intermodal Services.

With six locations and 140 drivers, this acquisition further solidifies IMC Companies’ position as the largest, privately owned marine drayage company in the United States. In addition, acquiring H&M significantly bolsters the organization’s presence in the Northeastern United States.

“Like us, the H&M team specializes in container drayage,” said Mark H. George, Chairman of IMC Companies. “What’s more, this acquisition enhances our existing national footprint that allows us to handle freight in any major rail or port facility in the United States.”

The acquisition of H&M brings the employee count for IMC Companies to more than 2,100 team members across the nation dedicated to providing exceptional international supply chain solutions.

“I am impressed with H&M’s leadership, history, services, values and team members,” said George, “and I look forward to welcoming their employees into our family.”

About IMC Companies:

IMC Companies is a national network of intermodal logistics businesses providing an array of services including container drayage, expedited services, customs brokerage, truck brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, chassis provisioning and secured container storage. To learn more about the IMC Companies family of brands, visit www.imccompanies.com.

Trucking Firms Prepare for Electronic Logging Device Mandate

The trucking industry’s controversial electronic logging device mandate goes into effect Dec. 18, and local trucking companies and drivers have been preparing for most of the year. The ELD helps measure and monitor that drivers are not on the road too many hours each day, that they take mandatory breaks at the appropriate times, and that they are not driving too many hours during a consecutive seven-day period.

Earlier this year, some truckers participated in “ELD or Me” protests in Washington, D.C., while others took to the streets in Fresno, California, to protest the implementation of the rule, which has proved controversial among small owner-operators. To read more, visit The Daily News.