Incentive sought to keep trucks rolling

Brandon Musso believes reduced trucker waiting times at warehouse docks could make a dent in the national truck driver shortage.

Musso wants to start with Tennessee by creating a state tax incentive for shippers to reduce downtimes for truckers picking up and dropping off loads of freight.

A logistics director for third party logistics provider Re-Trans, Musso jotted down the idea one night while brainstorming solutions to a growing shortfall of truck drivers. It would grant shippers a 2 percent tax credit on line-haul freight costs when truckers are kept waiting less than two hours on each end of a haul. Musso persuaded lawmakers to translate his idea into legislation, which was introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly last week. Senate Majority leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, introduced it in Senate and Rep. Karen Camper, D-Memphis, is the House sponsor.

“I was just tired of seeing the drivers disrespected,” said Musso, 35 a New Orleans native and Christian Brothers University graduate.

Truck drivers typically make money when they’re rolling, but an average 20 percent of their time is spent waiting, Musso said.

Waiting times are a hot topic among drivers on trucking industry message boards. Wasted hours have been blamed for sapping productivity and causing safety violations as drivers try to make up for lost time.

If waits are reduced, drivers can log more miles and make more money, helping trucking companies by making a career at the wheel of a big rig more attractive.

The American Trucking Associations projects the nation will be short 175,000 drivers by 2024 if current trends continue: veteran driers leaving and younger people steering clear of the occupation.

Musso estimates his program could increase driver refenue potential by $15,000 to $20,000 a year and add 2,500 to 5,000 jobs over five years through greater efficiency.

“This doesn’t disadvantage anybody in the chain,” Musso said.

Musso initially approached U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, who suggested that he start with Tennessee lawmakers.

Camper said, “It make me think about all the conversation I’ve had with independent truck drivers, the small guys who have their own small firms, and some of the issues they have to deal with sometimes. I thought this would be an opportunity to really take a close look and maybe revolutionize how we deal with this turnaround issue.”

Joel Henry, president of Memphis based Intermodal Cartage Company, said, “This bill would be a direct and indirect win for multiple parties. And the benefits would have a positive ripple effect. A more productive truck can deliver more cargo during the same work period, which means greater efficiencies all around. These efficiencies eliminate the need for additional trucks. Less trucks equals less emissions. Fewer trucks on our highways and interstates reduces wear and tear on our roads. Less road congestion provides for safer highways for everyone.”

Musso said he realizes the idea may not make it into law, but he’s hoping it will be at least a step in the right direction. “I’m not saying it’s a fix nationally, but it’s a start.”

IMC Companies opening Ohio unit

IMC Companies is launching Columbus-based Ohio Intermodal Services to provide container drayage services in the Ohio Valley.

IMC chairman Mark George tapped Barry Bernard to lead the new company. Bernard came on board at IMC in 2013 when the Memphis-based intermodal logistics company bought Express America Trucking Inc., which Bernard started in 2000.

To read more, visit, the Commercial Appeal.

Lifeblood hosts blood drive for cancer patient

From the Commercial Appeal

Co-workers, friends and family of Lloyd Jones gathered Dec. 3 to honor the transportation veteran with a luncheon and blood drive.

Jones, who has been driving trucks since 1975, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“Our goal with this event was to celebrate his career and his life,” said Barry Bernard, VP of Intermodal Cartage Company. “Forty years is a long time in our industry, so we wanted to commemorate this milestone and also do something to support his battle with cancer.”

The blood drive, held at Intermodal Cartage’s 5707 E. Holmes Road facility, successfully raised 24 units of blood, which was 20 percent more than the day’s goal. A Jackson, Tenn. native, Lloyd and his wife Denise now live in Hernando. They have a blended family of four children, Lloyd (Chip) Jones, Rusty Jones, Brian Maxwell and Jessica Clarke. The couple has five grandchildren and another on the way.

Lloyd has worked as a truck driver since 1975 when he started at McLean Trucking, a company run by Malcolm McLean, the “father of intermodal shipping.” Over the years, Lloyd has won numerous professional awards including Driver of the Year. He has driven for companies such as Ryder, Williamette Industries, TSL and Express America. He has now retired from Intermodal Cartage after seven years of service.

Lloyd’s wife, Denise, serves as apheresis director for Lifeblood, the Memphis region’s only non-profit volunteer blood center.

 

Transportation firm to expand in Greensboro

After expanding its Triad work force at a Greensboro office it opened a few years ago, a Charleston, S.C.-based company that specializes in transportation services such as import/export cargo shipments is planning to move to a larger facility nearby by Feb. 1.

Atlantic Intermodal Services opened a 1,500-square-foot office at 3225 Pinecroft Court in 2012, with one crew member and about 10 drivers, said Jeff Banton, company president. To read more, visit the Triad Business Journal.

Turning Trucking Around with Technology

IMC Companies’ Mark George spoke to JOC.com about how technology can help with the truck driver shortage, increase productivity, and the benefits of Memphis as ‘America’s Distribution Center.’ To view the interview CLICK HERE.

Information technology takes intermodal industry into future

Memphis Business Journal
October 17, 2014

When Joel Tracy was earlier this year named to the newly minted position of chief information officer at IMC Cos., he was tasked with bringing the logistics company into a new age.

Technology is becoming increasingly important in the intermodal industry, Tracy says. The industry and IMC Cos. are growing quickly, and its larger customers are expecting tracking services like when they make personal buys online.

“They want transparency, no matter what size the package,” he says. “It’s become expected. Business that satisfy that need are going to have customers who are much more loyal and satisfied with your business. They are the ones who are going to return.”

Tracy, who spent 21 years in different positions at FedEx Corp. before joining IMC Cos., says he sticks to a few rules to handle the challenges of his field.

“In my line of work, when you’re trying to run an (information technology) group, organization or whatever it is, you have to understand the times are changing,” Tracy says. “You can’t take a year to deliver a product. My philosophy is to never take on a project that takes more than six months.”

He wouldn’t go into the IT projects IMC Cos. is currently working on, but he says mobile technology for drivers is one of the big industry trends right now, as well as the ability to track engine metrics.

CFO of the Year: Michael Baker, IMC Cos. LLC

Memphis Business Journal
October 17, 2014

What company does: Provide solutions for the intermodal supply chain, including container drayage, customs house brokerage, freight forwarding, chassis provisioning and secured container storage.

Your role: Managing change, planning for and implementing new business processes, strategic planning, financial reporting, banking, acquisitions, analysis and governance of administrative services.

To read more, visit the Memphis Business Journal.

Trucker shortage begs creative solutions

The Commercial Appeal
September 21, 2014

Shawn Gross took a smoke break as IMC Companies founder and chairman Mark George scrubbed the big rig that Gross is leasing to own under a program aimed at attracting and retaining truck drivers.

Returning from Kansas City, Gross rolled into IMC’s southeast Shelby County terminal in the middle of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and a full-on red carpet treatment.

Debt of Gratitude

The Daily News
September 18, 2014

Robert Wright began working as a truck driver for Intermodal Cartage Co. in March 2006, making runs to cities across the Southeast.

But on Tuesday, Sept. 16, Wright, an owner-operator, had Intermodal Cartage Co. president Joel Henry washing his truck as Wright relaxed in a comfortable chair situated on a red carpet and joked around with co-workers.

“It’s cool,” said Wright, 46. “I like any time I can sit out there and talk and cut up with them. This is like a second home. We all got a smile and a handshake, and I enjoyed it.”

To read more, visit the The Memphis Daily News