Richard Strum – On the Move

From the Birmingham Business Journal –

Date added: August 13, 2012

Submission Type: New Hire

Current employer: Intermodal Cartage (IMCG)

Current title/position: Regional Vice President

Industry: Logisitics and Transportation

Position department: Operations

Duties/responsibilities: Richard Strum has joined Intermodal Cartage (IMCG) as regional vice president. In his role at IMCG, Richard will oversee the company’s Birmingham office and surrounding markets. A Birmingham native with more than 20 years of experience in the intermodal industry, Richard worked for Comtrak Logisitics prior to his position at IMCG.

Company headquarters: Memphis, TN

Memphis intermodal firm opens Birmingham office

From the Birmingham Business Journal –

A Memphis-based provider of intermodal transportation services recently expanded into Alabama with an office in Birmingham, citing local talent and Norfolk Southern Corp.’s $97.5 million caro loading terminal being built in McCalla as its main attractions.

Intermodal Cartage Co., which specializes in import/export cargo shipments through-out the Southeast and is best known for its container drayage, or short distance transportation, is subleasing a 1,500-square-foot office at 305 26th Ave. W., Building 16, from the Birmingham Food Terminal.

From its new location, the firm will service railroads in the metro, as well as in Huntsville, Mobile, Nashville, Atlanta and Memphis.

Intermodal Cartage President Joel Henry said the firm’s main reason for coming to the Magic City was its chance to bring on board new operations manager, Richard Strum, an industry veteran in Birmingham with more than 20 years of experience and the former regional director at Comtrak Logistics Inc.

Henry said the proximity to Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility that Norfolk Southern is building in McCalla was another draw to the area. He said the new location will also allow the company to better serve other railroads, such as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and CSX.

Operations manager Sturm said he thinks Birmingham needs a new drayage carrier – a truck driver to transfer freight to customers over a short distance, in particular with Norfolk Southern’s intermodal facility set to be completed this year.

“With the Norfolk Southern terminal opening sometime this year, Norfolk Southern and some of its vendors are going to need a good trucker here, and I think that’s us,” he said.

Henry said the company plans to hire 15 truck drivers in the Birmingham area by the end of the year and an additional 15 by June 30, 2013. Intermodal Cartage Co., founded by Mark George in 1982 with one truck driver, has currently more than 1,000 production employees throughout its footprint. The company has locations in Memphis, Nashville and Dallas. In addition to its new office in Birmingham Henry said the company plans to open an office in Huntsville by either fourth quarter 2012 or first quarter 2013.

Norfolk Southern’s 316 acre Jefferson County facility will be part of its “Crescent Corridor,” a 2,500 mile railroad route from New Jersey to New Orleans. Once the McCalla hub is open, it will provide Birmingham a way to transport raw materials and finished goods.

Norfolk Southern says the hub would eliminate more than 607,000 long haul trucks from Alabama’s highways annually.

Ted vonCannon, executive director of the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Board, said Norfolk Southern’s intermodal facility is going to mean great things for Jefferson County.

“we have done some modeling of the economic projections for that hub, and we have great expectations,” he said. “We would like to see the economy pick up a little bit, but when that happens, we will have many more opportunities here.”

All roads pointed to a career in logisitics for Brandon Sartain

From the Memphis Business Journal –

Sartain, a native Memphian, has logistics in his blood. His father worked for more than 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service, while his siter worked in customs brokering for various companies for more than 15 years. Sartain began his logistics career as scheduler and manager of shipping for  Color Craft Label Co., a local printing company. He then moved to Carolina Logistics, a national reverse logistics company, before beginning his career at Intermodal Cartage Co. as a dispatcher in 2006. He quickly took over as supervisor for the local dispatch group.

First job: Attendant, BP gas station

Education: Attended University of Memphis

Residence: East Memphis

Business philosophy: Build a positive team and embrace change

Best way to keep competitive edge: Continue to educate myself on technology

Guiding principle: It’s never as good as it seems or as bad as it seems=

Yardstick of success: Was 110 percent effort given? Sometimes whatwe call failures turn into some of our greatest achievements

Goal yet to be achieved: Owning my own company

Judgment calls

Best  business decision: Consolidating customer service and dispatch departments to provide specialized customer service to our clients

Worst business decision: Assuming drivers were in abundance

Toughest business decision: Anytime you have to let someone go for any reason

Biggest missed opportunity: Not completing my education at a younger age

Mentor: My father

Word that best describes you: Solid

True confessions

Like best about job: Controlling chaos

Like least about job: The long hours

Pet peeve: To be told” That is not my job.”

Most important lesson learned: Hard work and dedication will pay off.

Person most interested in meeting: Tony LaRussa

Most respected competitor: Comtrak

Three greatest passions: Golf, baseball and fishing

First choice for a new career: Owning a bicycle rental company


Favorite quote: “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain

Most influential book: “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer

Favorite cause: Make-a-Wish Foundation

Favorite status symbol: Five-year service pen from Intermodal Cartage Co.

Favorite movie: “A River Runs Through It”

Favorite restaurant: Flight

Favorite vacation spot: Grayton Beach, Fla.

What’s on your iPod: Greatful Dead, Waylon Jennings and Jay Z

Favorite way to spend free time: Spending time with my wife and two boys

Automobile: GMC  Sierra

Intermodal Cartage equipment operator David Walls celebrates 20 years

From the Commerical Appeal –

Intermodal Cartage equipment operator David Walls celebrated 20 years of  employment on April 13. The day was officially declared “David Walls Appreciation Day” at the company. With Walls were IMC Companies chairman Mark George, Intermodal Cartage executive vice president Randy Wright, and Intermodal Cartage president Joel Henry, and Walls’ granddaughters Kelsea Steadham, Montana Walls, CJ Steadham and Hayle Steadham, as well as his daughter Stacey Walls. David Walls is the 13th employee at IMC Companies to achieve this milestone.

IMC Companies Joins U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership

IMC Companies recently announced that Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS), DNJ Intermodal Services (DNJ), Gulf Intermodal Services (GIS), Intermodal Cartage Company (IMCG) and National Drayage Services (NDS) have joined the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry, which provides a framework to assess the environmental and energy efficiency of goods movement supply chains.

The companies will contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 8,000 tons of particulate matter.  Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, and nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that contributes to smog.  By joining SmartWay Transport Partnership, IMC Companies demonstrates its strong environmental leadership and corporate responsibility.

“At IMC Companies, we are constantly searching for ways to provide our clients with quality service while ensuring our output minimally impacts the environment,” said IMC Companies chairman Mark H. George. “We felt our mission tied in perfectly with the goals of the SmartWay Transport Partnership, and we look forward to doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint. We are confident that this partnership will benefit the environment and, in turn, our customers for many years to come.”

Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA and Charter Partners represented by industry stakeholders, environmental groups, American Trucking Associations and Business for Social Responsibility, this program was launched in 2004. Partners rely upon SmartWay tools and approaches to track and reduce emissions and fuel use from goods movement. The Partnership currently has over 3,000 partners. For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership, visit

About IMC Companies:

IMC Companies is a national network of trucking transport and support businesses, providing local and regional services of international and domestic containers; chassis and container maintenance and repair; full service container depots and secured container storage; hazardous material shipments; reefer service, fueling and protection; roadside repair services; and rail terminal operations. To learn more about IMC Companies family of brands, visit

IMC Companies Team Explored On-Site Company Walking Trail for 6th Annual “Walk-at-Work” Day

From Memphis Connect

On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, more than 100 IMC Companies team members participated in the company’s 6th Annual “Walk-at-Work Day,” in which the IMC team and their families took time to explore the company’s 1.5-mile walking trail on a beautiful day. Fruit and water were served at the start of the trail, and healthy box lunches from Subway were provided at the gazebo at the trail’s end. It was a “Jeans Day,” allowing employees to be comfortable during their walk. While this trail was perfect for the annual “Walk-at-Work”Day, IMC Companies chairman, Mark George, built the 1.5-mile trail at the company’s East Holmes Road location for himself and his team members to utilize year-round.

“Taking time to focus on fitness and enjoy the outdoors is something that is important to me, not only as a company leader, but as an individual,” George remarked.“We built the trail through our property alongside a lake and over hills into the back of our property. It gives our team members a chance to take an all-important break to connect with nature and increase circulation and health.”

Other team members also see the value in the event and the trail.

“We do this each year to encourage our people to enjoy the outdoors and be healthy,” said Katie George Hooser, who is in charge of business development at Intermodal Cartage, one of the IMC Companies family of brands. “We want to ensure that, in our industry, our team members work to prevent common health issues such as heart disease. In fact, we partner with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of potential risks for heart disease, acting as a key sponsor for the Heart Walk for several years. ‘Walk-at-Work’ Day is part of our effort to make sure we incorporate health, wellness and nature into our workplace.”

Hooser noted that she and others often have “walking meetings” along the trail, enjoying the scenery while collaborating on work-related projects.

Intermodal Cartage employee Brett Henley said he walked six laps during last year’s “Walk-at-Work Day” out of pure desire to be outside, in nature.

“I love doing this,” he said of the event. “I don’t have to think too hard about exercising, and I can make people smile as we pass each other on the trail. It’s a real joy.”

Also participating at the“Walk-at-Work” Day were team members of Inland Intermodal Logistics Services, LLC, a company that provides administrative services to IMC Companies, and team members of River City Capital Leasing, a company that leases trucks to IMC Companies.

IMC Companies is a national intermodal logistics specialist focused on international shipments. Its companies include Atlantic Intermodal Services; Intermodal Cartage; Gulf Intermodal Services; National Drayage Services; DNJ Intermodal Services; and Frederick Intermodal. For more information on the IMC Companies family of brands, visit

Maersk selling chassis equipment subsidiary

From the Memphis Business Journal –

<blockquote>Maersk Inc.  is selling subsidiary Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI) to private investment firm Littlejohn & Co. LLC  , marking a leading steamship line further distancing itself from the chassis business.

For years, steamship lines provided chassis to trucking companies, but Maersk, a subsidiary of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, led the charge to pull out of that business. It continued to provide equipment under Direct ChassisLink, which it formed in 2010.

Trucking and intermodal companies, in Memphis and elsewhere, are still working to see how the changes in chassis ownership will affect them long-term. With ownership of chassis shifting, it could give companies more control over their equipment and consequently differentiate carriers which provide quality equipment.

The transaction is expected to close in March.

DCLI rents and leases chassis to drayage companies and steamship lines in the U.S. The company owns or leases 66,000 chassis through a network of 129 locations on or near ports and intermodal hubs in the U.S.

The move fits with A.P. Moller-Maersk Group’s strategy to build its presence in shipping, energy and related activities, according to J. Russell Bruner, chairman and CEO.

“We have been pleased with the business levels, the profitability and the quality of management at DCLI,” he said in a company statement. “It is, however, a provider of chassis, and it does not fit in our long-term strategic focus. The sale will allow the group to reallocate resources to the strategic focus areas within shipping, energy and related activities.

Katie George Hooser heads business development with Memphis-based Intermodal Cartage Co  . and is this year’s president of the Memphis World Trade Club.

“Maersk set a standard by establishing Direct Chassis Link in 2010,” she said. “Since then, most major ocean carriers have also announced plans that they will no longer provide chassis to motor carriers. Disengaging from the chassis improves an ocean carrier’s bottom line by passing the cost, removing their liability to the Department of Transportation, and allowing them to focus on their core business.”
This change affects the trucking industry in Memphis as trucks need chassis to move product.

“I see this change as an opportunity to have better control over the equipment that we use,” Hooser says. “I hope that the change will also strengthen our relationships with cargo owners who will want to use companies they can depend on to provide the best equipment.”</blockquote>


Intermodal Cartage Sees 30 Years of Steady Growth

From the Memphis Daily News –

Founded by Mark George in Memphis with one truck driver in 1982, Intermodal Cartage Co. Inc. has grown steadily for nearly 30 years and now has locations in 26 cities nationwide.

With a gross annual income hovering around $150 million, IMCG now employs more than 1,100 workers.

IMCG presently owns seven operating companies. Five of those are trucking companies, and two are maintenance and repair companies that specifically repair ocean-carrier containers and chassis.

The company is a provider of intermodal transportation services, and its main focus is international shipments – servicing import and export cargo. When George launched his business, containerized shipments over the Memphis gateway were just beginning to evolve.

“Most trucking companies in town didn’t want to deal with going in and out of the railroads and picking up containerized shipments,” George said. “They didn’t like dealing with U.S. Customs (and Border Protection), and none of the ocean carriers had offices here in the U.S.”

By meeting a service need, George took advantage of what turned out to be an opportunity of enormous proportions. Being in Memphis – which embraced the slogan of “America’s Distribution Center” and later “America’s Aerotropolis” – certainly helped out, as well.

IMCG is still growing, and under the current business plan, George expects to double in size every five years. So far, that has happened.

“It’s my vision to see our company reach $1 billion in sales,” George said.

Beyond being in the right place at the right time, a number of factors played into his success, including his employees.

“(Success) had a lot to do with getting the right leadership on board in our company – the right employees,” George said. “I’ve also been blessed with some good clients that have been very supportive of building our company.”

Though the economy has struggled with little gross domestic product during the recession, the demand for trucking services is still relatively high, George said. As a result, IMCG grew by 25 percent in 2011.

The demand for trucking services remains strong with little or slow growth in the economy, but when the economy starts to heat up, a shortage of drivers could loom ahead.

“A shortage of truck drivers would affect everybody,” George said. “It would affect the cost of goods being transported – things like clothes and food. A truck transports those things at some point. So, I think we are in a good position for when the economy has any decent growth at all. The demand for our services will be really high.”

Though George is not the face of the company anymore, most of his time is spent in conference rooms with the presidents of each of his operating companies, defining vision and strategy.

“I’m their biggest cheerleader,” George said. “They’re on the front line, and I’m kind of in the back room coaching.”

IMCG takes stringent steps to maintain container security. Its 165-acre facility on East Holmes Road is equipped with security checkpoints, surrounded by an electric fence, and every load is locked.

“Security is very important to us,” said Katie Hooser, who handles the company’s business development. “We want to make it so difficult to compromise our security that anyone who was considering taking something would just go someplace else where it would be easier. There are all kinds of things in the containers, and they’re valuable to our wide range of clients. First and foremost, we want to look out for the best interests of our customers.”

In the spotlight – Katie George Hooser

From the Memphis Business Journal –


Age: 26

Hometown: Memphis

Education: Hutchison School, Emory University, and pursuing MBA at Christian Brothers University

First job: My first job was at Intermodal Cartage. I started during the summers when I was 13 years old filling lots of paperwork!

Family: I have been married for three years to my husband, Andrew Hooser

What do you do: I handle sales for IMCG’s Memphis region and manage IMC Cos.’ public relations and marketing efforts. I am also the upcoming 2012 president of the Memphis World Trade Club.


Like best about job: The great relationships I have with so many of our customers. I have been very lucky in my career to have many people support and help me to be successful.

Like least about job: Capacity restrictions

Pet peeve: Arrogance

Most important lesson learned: Change is the only real constant. Particularly in the transportation industry, it is important to anticipate and proactively adapt to meet market needs.  

Person most interested in meeting: The late Malcolm McLean who was the “father of containerization.” He started as a trucker!

Most respected competitor: TCW

Career goals: To make IMC Cos. The most respected brand in our industry. I am so proud of IMC Cos. And everything we have accomplished since we were founded in 1982. I want everyone to see our company the way I do.

First choice for a new career: Artist


Favorite quote: “Stay the course.” – George Bush and often repeated by my dad, Mark George

Most influential book: The Bible

Favorite cause: Agape Child and Family Services

Favorite status symbol: An old Intermodal Cartage sweatshirt. It’s from the ‘90s!

Favorite movie: “True Grit”

Favorite restaurant: West Street Diner

Favorite vacation spot: Turks and Caicos

Favorite way to spend free time: I love spending time outside. Right now, Andrew and I are growing a pumpkin patch. That has been a lot of fun!

Favorite stress reducers: Running

Favorite musicians: Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, Miranda Lambert

Automobile: Acura TL


How are local companies adjusting to the new CSA 2010 regulations?

Intermodal Cartage has always gone out of its way to hire the safest and most reliable fleet of drivers. I support any regulations that encourage other companies to do the same.

That being said, it is estimated that CSA will take out between 5 to 8 percent of drivers from our industry. Because the available driver pool is already small, this reduction in capacity could cause real problems. To be successful, trucking companies must find ways to help their drivers be compliant with the new regulations, as we are.

Our safety department and operations group meet with drivers individually to address any issues that affect their scores. We have found that something as simple as giving our drivers special folders to help organize their insurance paperwork can help them be better prepared for an inspection. It’s a learning process and we want our drivers to be ahead of the curve.

Logistics experts travel more than 6,000 miles to see how a distribution center works

From the Commercial Appeal –

Georgia was on George Doborjginidze’s mind Friday as a tour bus slowly cruised a southeast Memphis depot crammed with ocean shipping containers, truck chassis and tractors.

Not the Peach State, but the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where Doborjginidze is helping develop an intermodal freight yard similar to three that dot the Memphis landscape.

Chairman of the Georgian Logistics Association and managing director of TLC Property Management LLC, Doborjginidze was among 18 logistics professionals from the former Soviet Union visiting key Memphis links in the global supply chain.

The group, hosted by the University of Memphis Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, spent three days in the city under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Special American Business and Internship Training program.

They toured the FedEx world hub, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Memphis Intermodal Facility, Canadian National Railway hump yard and Mallory Alexander International Logistics.

The group spent a couple of hours at the 160-acre southeast Memphis compound of Intermodal Cartage Group, which handles and transports shipping containers for international imports and exports.

Georgia, the country, sounded sort of like Memphis the way it was described by Doborjginidze and Gogita Gvenetadze, acting head of transport policy for the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Situated between Russia and Turkey, it occupies a central position on land shipping routes between Asia and Europe. Gvenetadze said the country’s railroads transport 3.3 million people and 22 million tons of cargo annually, with much of the cargo going somewhere else.

“After studying the intermodal infrastructure here, we want to establish centers in our country,” Gvenetadze said.

Doborjginidze’s company is developing an intermodal facility in Tbilisi, the capital. He said, “The purpose of our trip is to meet with the leading U.S. companies in transportation and logistics sectors, to get a feeling how they are organized and to see how the businesses are operated.”

Memphis is worth studying because of its five major railroads, state-of-the-art intermodal yards and world-class distribution companies like FedEx. Also on the itinerary: New York, New Jersey, Greensboro, N.C., Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

“Our mission is to improve the education of our community about intermodal freight, and this is improving that education,” said Sean Ellis, associate director and business manager for the U of M center. “They spoke to our students yesterday about the challenges in their countries.”

Ellis added, “Really, it’s a good-will thing for us.”