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.

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 acquires H&M Terminal Transport

(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.

From high heels to heirloom tomatoes, blockchain technologies will touch everything

If you live off the grid, spend only paper money, tune in AM radio for entertainment and pretty much ignore the steamroller unleashed on everyday life by the Silicon Valley, none of what comes next will make sense.

But only a few years ago someone said to be in the proximity of Beijing conjoined the words block and chain into blockchain, a term for an obscure technical feat. Its purpose: provide a digital wallet for cryptocurrency. To read more, visit the Commercial Appeal.

Artificial Intelligence: New AI Business Tools for Truckers That Are Ready to Run

Although it’ll be a while before we all have an IBM Watson supercomputer sitting on our desktops, there are a number of artificial intelligence business tools truckers can use right now that will help you run smarter, faster and ahead of the competition. Essentially, these next-generation wonders tap into the ability of artificial intelligence to do a lot of the thinking and strategizing for you.

“We started to invest more in AI in 2015 and just launched a business unit, Driven Analytic Solutions, that is bringing some of these breakthroughs to other carriers and partners,” said Richard Cribbs, executive vice president at Covenant Transportation Group.

To read more, visit Transport Topics.

IMC Companies Receives Platinum Award from Great West Casualty Company

IMC Companies Receives Platinum Award from Great West Casualty Company

IMC Companies has been awarded a Platinum Award by Great West Casualty Company as a part of their 2017 Workplace Safety Awards Program. Atlantic Intermodal Services, DNJ Intermodal Services, Gulf Intermodal Services, Intermodal Cartage, Ohio Intermodal Services and National Drayage Services are all included in this award.

“We are honored to be recognized for our safety culture,” said Vice President of Safety and Risk Management Lynn Parrish. “This award is attributed to our entire team and their hard work to put safety at the center of everything we do”.

The Workplace Safety Awards program is based on a trucking company’s year-end workplace incident rate and recognizes motor carriers companies for their dedication to creating and fostering a safe workplace for their team. Carriers receive a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Participatory award.

About Great West Casualty

Great West Casualty Company is one of the leading providers of insurance products and services for the transportation industry. Headquartered in South Sioux City, Nebraska, Great West Casualty Company is part of the Old Republic General Insurance Group, the largest business segment within Old Republic International, one of the nation’s 50 largest publicly held insurance organizations.