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
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