Campaign to tame coronavirus in Memphis idles 80,000. When will all the jobs return? No one’s sure.
Refreshed after a cruise to Puerto Rico and Saint Lucia, Darin McDonald stepped off the passenger liner Norwegian Jewel fully expecting his family’s business in Memphis would perform in the spring as it had in the winter — near record sales.
Within two weeks of the February cruise, orders for sports banners, restaurant signs and highway billboards sagged for McDonald Outdoor Advertising and have never recovered, said McDonald, vice president of the firm, which manages about 70 Tunica casino district billboards. Nearly two-thirds of the dozen employees were idled, and the firm cast for new sales making acrylic sneeze guards.
“I’m not against buying a lawn mower if I have to find something else to do with my life,” McDonald laughed. “I just don’t know how long it’s going to take to come out of this.”Read more
IMC Companies provides flexibility for a community hero
“I wanted to be someone. I wanted to go somewhere. I wanted to break the curse.” – Jerimiah Washington, OIS Owner Operator During the COVID-19 pandemic, truck drivers are more than an essential worker. They are our nation’s heroes – […]Read more
Maines Paper idles 129 as coronavirus lockdown takes toll, pushing Memphis jobless rate over 11%
Greater Memphis’ jobs engine could pick up speed in the next few months, but for now, the coronavirus lockdown continues to batter the economy and push the region’s unemployment rate up to recession levels. Layoffs have now idled at least […]Read more
American Mattress Alliance: Retailers want antidumping supporters to pull petition
NEW YORK — The American Mattress Alliance says it hopes the U.S. bedding producers filing an antidumping mattress petition will “take the state of the industry into account and pull the petition.”
The AMA said it has heard from a number of retailers who are voicing their disapproval of the petition.
It noted that home furnishings sales were down 24.6% in March and said a retail mattress survey is predicting second-quarter sales to be down 50%. Given those conditions, retailers and service providers are speaking out about the timing, the AMA said.Read more
Supporting drivers on the front line
“Our goal is to encourage drivers. In a global pandemic, they are our nation’s heroes.” – Mark H. George, Chairman IMC Companies.
Drivers are keeping America running during the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand you are working on the front lines. We have your back.
At a time when many restaurants and fuel stations are closed to drivers, IMC Companies Chairman Mark H. George and his wife Melinda are working to ensure drivers in Memphis have access to meals. During the past several weeks, they, and IMCG President Joel Henry, personally passed out 150 boxed lunches every Tuesday and Thursday to all drivers entering the Memphis terminal’s interchange lanes in an IMCC initiative called “Sandwiches for Semis”. (more…)Read more
No shortage of food, but grocers limited by rationing of paper products, bread
Just when Memphis-area grocers thought they’d hit a lull, a buying frenzy exploded again Monday afternoon after shelter-in-place orders from local governments.
“Once the announcement was made, we got crushed,” Richard James, owner of three Memphis-area Cash Saver stores, said on Wednesday, March 25.
Early Monday, “we even had a conversation among store managers and myself, ‘Well, it looks like things are going to calm down a little bit,’ ” said James.
Then, “In a condensed period of time it was probably the busiest day of the last 14 days. We took a deep breath and went, ‘That didn’t last long,’ ” James said.Read more
Local truckload carrier preps for import surge from China
A locally based truckload carrier is trying to surge ahead in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Donna Lemm, EVP of national sales for IMC Cos., said all U.S. ports and inland rails remain open, which means the company’s drivers continue to deliver freight.
Lemm acknowledged that before the coronavirus, the industry looked promising and intermodal volumes were strong. The Chinese New Year brought a typical seasonal lull for the transportation industry. But, Lemm said things changed when the virus hit Wuhan, China and import volumes from Chinese manufacturers dropped. Ocean carriers were also forced to cancel sailings out of China.Read more
The odd face of Memphis 2020: Logistics firms hire, doctors scramble, people wait as coronavirus spreads
IMC Companies, a Memphis-based freight hauler, responded to the situation by changing how staffers work.
Office employees now alternate work between home and IMC headquarters, said Mason George, president of national accounts for IMC. The company runs 600 trucks and dispatches 2,000 drivers, including owner-operators who haul the ocean-going freight containers arriving at U.S. ports.Read more
Truckers risk exposure to coronavirus to deliver critical medical and food supplies
As medical professionals and public health officials work to slow the spread of the coronavirus, truck drivers are also working around-the-clock to deliver critical medical supplies, food and other essentials to hospitals and grocery stores nationwide.
Deb LaBree and her husband, Del, of Joplin, Missouri, haul vital medical supplies to hospitals. They are independent owner-operators, who own Castle Transport LLC, and are leased to Landstar. They typically run from Colorado to the East Coast.
Deb LaBree considers truckers “unsung heroes” who rally in times of crisis to get the job done, even if it means putting their health at risk.
“We got into trucking 13 years ago, and specifically the pharmaceutical division, to help people in times like this because we know they need their medication,” she told FreightWaves.
Deb LaBree said she’s not on the “panic wagon” yet but understands the importance of remaining healthy to deliver medicine to help those affected by the coronavirus, which is now a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.Read more
IMC Companies and Local IT Training Schools Collaborate to Address Skills Gap
(photo credit Tech901)
IMC Companies, a national leader in intermodal logistics, relies heavily on dedicated computing and technology systems and processes, creating a need for a trained IT workforce in Memphis.
“When I joined IMC Companies as their CIO, I became directly responsible for the IT hiring process,” says Joel Tracy. It wasn’t until I made the move to a mid-sized business that I realized the difficulty in finding committed, well-rounded technical skills and talent. I found myself reevaluating what was important to my team when bringing in new members.”
Historically, IT candidates may have needed a related undergraduate or graduate degree in order to pursue a career in IT, but IMC Companies finds there are equally important criteria.
“In the case of IT, the technical knowledge and skills are just one-third of what makes up a successful individual’s career,” says Tracy. “Being able to understand others, and how teams and organizations work, is another third. The final third, the ability to holistically consider all aspects of work in order to achieve specific goals, also means the ability to consider the larger picture.”Read more