Growing Freight Success in D-FW; Harrison Hoof, Vice President of Intermodal Cartage, has evolved with the freight industry

From the Dallas Business Journal

Mowing lawns at a young age, Harrison Hoof learned his first lessons in business and work ethic from his father. Originally from Memphis, Tenn., Hoof graduated from the University of Memphis with the goal of becoming a stockbroker, but saw an opportunity in the transportation industry and hopped on board. Hoof, 52, took a big step to move to Texas and now works with Intermodal Cartage as vice president. Hoof has been in the industry for almost 30 years and maintains a unique passion for his work and his coworkers. Outside of work, Hoof is a family man. He takes pride in his daughters Pamela and Kimberly and has been married to his wife Alycia for 25 years.

WHAT IS INTERMODAL CARTAGE? Intermodal Cartage (IMCG) is an affiliate of IMC, and we have offices in Nashville, Memphis, Dallas, Haslett and Kansas City. What we do is handle international containers. We handle imports and exports from the United States and other countries such as Asia.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? I had my first job at age 10. My father and I would cut this yard every week and he would give me all the money. He was building a work ethic in me, and every time I look back at that I smile. That was a good thing, and he would do it with me. That was one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life. Only problem is I don’t have a boy, so I can’t do my daughters like that.

DESCRIBE A LEARNING EXPERIENCE FROM EARLY IN YOUR CAREER? I was a manager at Pacific Intermountain Express and at my first work group that I managed, the average tenure was 15 years. I was a new supervisor and thought I knew everything. After I struggled and failed to meet my production goals for my work group, it was at that point I realized how important it is to get employee feedback. When I started to listen to them and implement their suggestions, I started making those production goals. This happened in my first job right out of college.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? My father told me to be the best at whatever I did and to learn from my mistake. That’s some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? I like golf, going on power walks with my wife and hanging out in my media room, which I call my “man cave” at home. I like sports and watching movies.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? It’s getting married to my wife and having two beautiful daughters that are good people. On the professional side, it’s allowing myself to evolve within the transportation industry. I started in domestic (freight), then I went on to work in international consolidation, and now I’m involved in imports and exports. Throughout this process, I’ve met challenges at all levels and enjoyed success.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BEST BUSINESS DECISION? That’s an easy one. Best business decision was moving to D-FW from Memphis. The reason was it was a new frontier for me. It was a risk for me, because I had no friends or family here. It caused me to step outside my comfort zone, and I was eventually able to gain some new skills.

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT? I wish there was more time in the day. I work my process throughout the day. I learn how to relax and work toward a solution.

ANY REGRETS? I enjoy the challenges this involves, I wish I had started at Intermodal Cartage earlier.

WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST ROLE MODELS? My first role model was my father because he worked two jobs most of my childhood and he supported anything I wanted to do. Now, it is a combination of people. Mark George, chairman of IMC companies, taught me balance and attention to detail and Randal Wright, executive vice president of IMCG, took the time to teach me the intermodal business.

Southern Dallas inland port, Panama Canal link still viable

From the Dallas Morning News

An inland port moving containers from rails to warehouses to trucks remains a driver for economic development in southern Dallas, says an executive with Intermodal Cartage, a trucking firm with container yards in Wilmer and Haslet.

The International Inland Port of Dallas hasn’t been in the news much since developer Richard Allen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on his 6,000-acre development there in January 2010. Allen says he hopes to emerge from bankruptcy this summer, possibly with a partner. Meanwhile, Whirlpool and American Standard have announced warehouse projects in the area.

Intermodal Cartage, a firm based entirely on international trade, has built up its Wilmer site while watching Panama expand its canal.

“We believe this area is going to take off with the canal,” said Harrison Hoof, executive vice president of Intermodal Cartage.

Most containers coming from China and other Asian exporters enter the U.S. market at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. They are then mounted on trains heading east to inland ports such as Chicago, Kansas City, Alliance Texas in Fort Worth and the Union Pacific (UNP) yard in Wilmer.

Expanding the Panama Canal will allow very large ships carrying as many as 12,000 containers to bypass California and sail on to the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic. That should increase traffic at ports like Houston.

From Houston, railroads could bring many of the containers to warehouses and trucking firms in southern Dallas. Exports of Texas cotton and other goods could travel the same route in reverse.

“The I-45 corridor is going to be a key part of the all-water route from Asia. It’s just a matter of time,” Hoof said. “It’s a great business opportunity in this area.”

Share of the pie

By now, this is a familiar expectation. Before the recession caught up with Dallas at the end of 2008, the International Inland Port of Dallas was moving on a wave of optimism that, finally, southern Dallas and its neighbors would get their share of the North Texas economic pie.

The main attractions are still in place: Union Pacific Railroad’s intermodal terminal in Wilmer, Interstates 20, 45 and 35E, and lots of available land.

During the recession, Texas remained the nation’s leading exporter, but volumes of both U.S. imports and exports fell sharply. Cost pressures eased for shippers relying on the California ports.

While BNSF Railway carries plenty of those container cargoes to Alliance Texas in Fort Worth, some of that California rail traffic arrives daily at Union Pacific’s Wilmer yard.

The existing assets were enough to attract Whirlpool and American Standard, who struck deals for giant warehouse facilities in Wilmer and Hutchins last year with Duke Realty.

“We believe in the area,” said Jeff Thornton, Duke’s senior vice president for Dallas operations. “If they’re able to get an inland port in place down there, no question, it would add to the attraction of area.”

Thornton said he expects the expansion of the canal and rising volumes of trade to propel southern Dallas in the future, but, right now, “the area’s still in its infancy.”

Consistent vision

Allen said the recession “slowed down the process a lot more than all of us had hoped,” but “the vision hasn’t changed a bit.”

Intermodal Cartage, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., bought 100 acres in Wilmer in January. It handles thousands of containers in both Wilmer and Haslet, but the bulk of its traffic is in Wilmer.

“Once those volumes start through the canal — it’s three years away, but when customers look to setting up distribution networks, this area will definitely take off,” Hoof said.

Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS) Expands Savannah Office

From the Savannah Business Journal –

Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS) is a company that provides intermodal transportation services, specializing in import/export cargo shipments via trucking, port-to-port drayage, local round-trip drayage and more. AIS functions under the umbrella of IMC Companies, a company that was begun in 1982 as Intermodal Cartage and which has since expanded to incorporate a nationwide network of companies to facilitate the transportation of goods entering U.S. ports from all over the world and delivering them nationwide.

Since the company was founded in 2006, Atlantic Intermodal has seen tremendous growth, with an increase in business of 20 percent from 2009 to 2010. Part of its success was due to AIS’s targeting the smaller customer, rather than the larger client. In 2008, before the economic downturn, AIS made a concerted effort to woo smaller customers so that when the financial crisis hit in early 2009, the larger customers began to lose their market share while the smaller customers remained on the whole unaffected. AIS went from serving 15 customers in a week to 60 customers per week which is a positive trend at a time when companies are finding it difficult to remain afloat.

Memphis native and AIS president Jeff Banton says of his customer base: “My niche is a one-way market. I try to take imports to the interior of the Southeast and try to return our exports from Mississippi, Alabama, back to our ports.” Savannah’s marketing in the Far East made it lucrative and attractive for large shippers to send their goods to Savannah.

“Savannah was gaining more market share than Charleston and it became a catalyst for us at AIS,” Banton told the SBJ. Banton feels that until recently, Charleston was not paying attention to Savannah’s aggressive stance and that Charleston’s new port director, Jimmy Newsom (a Savannah native and former vice president for Hapag Lloyd) has begun to implement many of the same programs in South Carolina as those that have proved successful in Georgia.

Banton feels that the super cargo ships that will be coming with 2014 and the expansion of the Panama Canal will require the use of ports on the eastern seaboard and he feels that AIS’s operations in Jacksonville, Savannah and Charleston will put him in an enviable position to deal with the future flow of goods arriving in the United States. Banton also hopes to expand AIS’s operations to other ports like Wilmington and Norfolk.

Recently Banton’s company has tripled the size of its facility in Savannah. Although headquartered in Charleston, the majority of Atlantic Intermodal’s business is done in Savannah, so extra space was required in order to accommodate all new customers. Furthermore, Banton attributes much of this growth to Savannah’s port’s friendliness and openness to business possibilities.

The SBJ recently had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Banton, president of Intermodal Atlantic, a young company that has gone after the small customer in a field which is as old as trade is dealing with transoceanic transportation. Since his days as a college student at the University of Memphis, where Banton studied business marketing and logistics, he has been fascinated by the endless connections of shipping lines and railroad transportation which linked goods from far inland on one continent to another.

In 1986 Banton began working for Intermodal Cartage with its founder, Mark George, who had the vision to start with a single truck and find ways of linking international freight and brokerage firms who needed individuals on the ground to receive goods on U.S. soil and make them reach their destination in this country.

Although Memphis remains one of the principal railway heads linking goods coming from the Far East via West Coast ports, to the rest of the U.S., Banton recognized the growing importance of port cities like Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville for the post 2014 expansion of the Panama Canal and the impact it will have on future transportation of foreign goods to the U.S. (and U.S. goods to foreign markets). To this end, he established Atlantic Intermodal’s headquarters in Charleston in anticipation of what he hoped would be a boom. Unfortunately, the economic downturn of 2008 affected his plans, but despite this Jeff persisted. To his surprise, Jeff discovered that by catering to smaller companies he was able to weather the adversity of the times and come through stronger. To this end his company expanded by 40 percent between 2008 and 2010 and an additional 25 percent in 2011.

This Tennessee native likes to point out that there are pockets of possibilities in this trying economy where it is possible to thrive, and even, flourish. The friendliness of Savannah’s port, and its competitive streak drew him here from Charleston. That is not to say that Charleston no longer counts as one of Atlantic Intermodal’s ports, but rather that Banton has noticed that Savannah’s ambitious approach has influenced Charleston into changing its approach to business. Savannah native, Newsome, a former Hapag Lloyd VP, and now director of Charleston’s port, has applied many of Savannah’s port’s smart strategies to Charleston in order to remain competitive and offer an equally attractive business option to companies like Atlantic Intermodal.

“Savannah aggressively wooed and won many Far Eastern companies to ship their goods to Georgia, despite the long winding river course,” Banton told the SBJ. “Savannah Port has better hours and is open for business on Saturdays something neither Jacksonville or Charleston were and this made it more attractive for shippers, brokers and businesses like ours…” Banton added.

Intermodal Atlantic serves under the umbrella of, IMC Companies, which is a large multipronged business relying on a wide network of truckers, freight services and brokerage firms with transnational and transoceanic links. Atlantic Intermodal has recently set up its Savannah offices at 401 Telfair Road, next to the Amtrak Railroad lines, and in the hub of truck transportation which dominates Savannah’s transportation hub.

Atlantic Intermodal (AIS) has a crack team of dispatchers who work round the clock in order to guarantee quick delivery of goods and a swift turn around of containers and chassis. This logistics involved are elaborate on many levels and Atlantic Intermodal prides itself in offering services which are cost-effective, and time efficient despite the ever-growing increase in the cost of diesel. Atlantic Intermodal does not own a single truck, rather it relies on a fleet of 150 trucks and drivers to receive and deliver goods throughout the Southeast up to Charlotte, N.C.

Banton hopes to expand operations for Intermodal by opening future branches in Norfolk and Wilmington and also plans to maintain a strong personal hold on his employees. At the moment he has six employees in his Savannah office. Banton did not approach any of the usual business partners or guides to the city, but rather, established himself and Atlantic Intermodal, quietly and steadily at on of the major junctions of sea, land and rail transportation.

To find out more information about Atlantic Intermodal Services, please visit the IMC Companies’ Web site at www.imccompanies.com and click on “Companies” and then the “AIS” logo.

IMC focused on core business; offering ownership interest fuels intermodal firm

From the Memphis Business Journal –

IMC Cos., a Memphis-based intermodal shipping company, has invested about $12 million in the acquisition of three new container yards in Dallas, Houston and Savannah, Ga.,

IMC paid $10.4 million for a 100-acre container yard in Dallas, the largest single purchase the company has made. That facility gives the company a presence less than two miles from a Union Pacific Railroad yard.

Katie George-Hooser, who is in business development for IMC, says the move is part of the company’s plan to grow its national scope.

“We’ve been in a lot of these locations previously and have done well there,” George-Hooser says. “We’re seeing a lot of need and we’re trying to take advantage of that.”

The company employs more than 300 people in Memphis, including 170 drivers. All of the back-office operations for IMC’s 37 national offices are handled locally, so George-Hooser says the company could duplicate its hiring numbers from 2010, when it added 17 office employees and 18 drivers.

“The economy hasn’t been good, but we’ve been lucky to hold our ground in our markets and grow,” she says. “We’ve done a good job of taking advantage of opportunities that the economy created and we’re seeing the benefits of what we’ve done.”

IMC chairman Mark George says the intermodal industry grew by 20 percent last year, but IMC grew 40 percent through its presence on the Gulf Coast, East Coast and across the Southeast. While George eschews taking on full-fledged partners, he offers ownership stakes to the people who head up the company’s six different divisions. IMC owns a majority stake of the companies and the brands and logos all have the IMC stamp on them. Those companies include Memphis-based River City Maintenance and Repair, a business that handles chassis repairs for steamship lines and ocean carriers and National Drayage Service.

“Each company has a president or owner so they’ve all got skin in the game, and they’re experts in their industry,” George says.

When George started the company in 1982, he was one of the only local companies that hauled intermodal containers that were shipped into the U.S. from overseas. Most trucking companies shied away from hauling containers with other companies’ names on them, but George thrived in it. As he grew the company, he initially tried to open locations in other cities with little success. He changed his strategy to partner with or acquire local companies that already had a presence in those markets.

“We wouldn’t buy something that would be a learning experience,” George says. “But everything I diversified into was involved with the container and we’ve stayed focused on that.”

Barry Gibson, director of national accounts for OOCL USA Inc., a Hong Kong-based cargo company that ships from Europe to Asia and the U.S. for companies such as Wal-Mart and Target, says his company has used IMC as its house carrier for more than 10 years. The company also serves as OOCL’s container depot in several locations.

IMC now has sales of $125 million, and George predicts that number could increase to $250 million within five years. He is in the early stages of planning another expansion in the Midwest and is exploring the possibility of expanding internationally.

Diversity key for new intermodal firm

From the Savannah Morning News –

When Jeff Banton started Atlantic Intermodal Services in 2006, the shipping business was booming.
 
“It was a great time to start a new company,” he said. “Of course, back then, no one saw what was coming down the road.”

Back then, Banton’s fledgling company, with headquarters in Charleston and offices in Savannah and Atlanta, was jockeying to compete for customers. And because they were the new kids on the block, getting the big, established accounts was proving tough.
So AIS decided to try a different approach.

“We started going after the smaller customers, the ones who weren’t being serviced by the big companies,” Banton said. “In addition to steamship carriers, we were working with smaller freight forwarders, brokers and shippers.

“It turned out to be one of the best moves we could have made.”
By 2009, the seemingly recession-proof international shipping industry was feeling the effects of the downturn in the worldwide economy. Business was down, and many intermodal services, like all other aspects of global maritime trade, were struggling.

But while large customers were beginning to lose market share, AIS’s smaller customers were, in many cases, unaffected.

And AIS, which grew from serving 15 customers a week to 60 managed not only to hold its own, but to thrive all the way through the recession.

“We grew 40 percent in 2009, 30 percent in 2010 and are looking for 25 percent growth this year,” Banton said.

And, while he credits a good business plan and an excellent team with much of that success, the game-changer was the company’s diverse customer base, Banton said.

“We were forced to diversify in 2008 when everything was good, and it really paid off in 2009,” he said. “When the economy started to go south, a lot of the bigger companies were suddenly interested in smaller customers, but we were already locked in with them.”

In fact, AIS added an office in Charlotte in 2009 and another in Jacksonville last year. The five-year-old company has gone from eight employees to 24; from five owner-operator truck drivers to more than 50.

Although AIS, which specializes in import/export shipments, is headquartered in Charleston, it’s the Savannah port that has fueled the young company’s growth, Banton said.

That’s prompted AIS to move to a new, larger location here, trading two acres on Pine Meadow Road for a six-acre tract off Telfair Road.

“Savannah is really the heartbeat of the company,” Banton said, adding that he expected that growth to accelerate once the Panama Canal expansion opens and the Savannah harbor is deepened.

“When the canal is done, all the southeast ports are going to grow and benefit,” he said.
“I know some people think the competition is between Savannah and Charleston but, as someone with offices in both cities, I just don’t see it that way.

“In the long run, it’s East Coast versus West Coast — and every port in the Southeast is going to come out of this a winner.”

Speaking of harbor deepening, state Sen. Buddy Carter’s resolution supporting the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project was passed out of the transportation committee by unanimous vote this week and goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bi-partisan resolution, which Carter says has the support of “most, if not all those in the Senate,” is not intended to be a reaction to the resolution against the project that was passed several weeks ago in the South Carolina Senate, he said.

In fact, the Pooler Republican said, it endorses the efforts to deepen both the Savannah and Charleston harbors — and supports a new Jasper port.

“Deepwater ports in the Southeast are key gateways to international trade and must be deepened in order to prepare for the new generation of container ships that will begin to dominate ocean commerce when the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014,” he said.

Keepin' on Truckin'; Intermodal Cartage's business is continuing to grow – and how they're doing it.

From the Memphis Business Quarterly –

When a company grows from one man with one truck to operating in 27 locations in 10 different states, somebody is doing something right. That somebody is Mark George, who founded Intermodal Cartage in 1982.

Since that time, the company has mushroomed so much that George is now chairman of Intermodal Cartage Companies, the parent company of Intermodal Cartage, or IMCG. Intermodal Cartage Companies now operates six other companies around the country with a total of 1,400 employees.

One way George has built such a successful company is by surrounding himself with the brightest and best people, cultivating a management team and promoting within. IMCG almost never hires from outside the organization at the executive level. Experienced managers are moves up when positions become available.

Randall Wright, who started with Intermodal Cartage in 1985 as vice president of operations, is now executive vice president of Intermodal Cartage Companies, and he has designed a manager-in-training program to ensure the company is run by the best home grown talent. “What’s unique is that we don’t even advertise [jobs],” Wright says. “We have a lot of contacts here, and almost all of the [applications] have come out of Memphis.”Applications continue to pour in, he says.

Managers in training at IMCG start fresh out of college, and by the time they take their positions with the company, they already know the business inside and out. The program takes place at the company’s Memphis location, 145 acres on Holmes Road.

“It’s very intense,” Wright says. “We’re grooming them to e mid-level managers.” In the four years the program has been running, 15 managers have completed the program – and they are all still with the company. “We’re responsible for providing the field with qualified managers,” he says. “We’re taking kids coming out of college, whether they have a business degree, a transportation-and-logistics degree, or finance, and we give them one more year of college.”

“It’s great to have a year between college and work when you have all this opportunity to learn,” says Erin Meyer, the most recent graduate of the program. She is now working in the company’s newest location in Kansas City.

Although almost all the program participants are from Memphis, they are aware on the front end that they may not e staying in Memphis. “They make that clear in your first interview, that you’re more than likely going to be relocated,” Meyer says. Upon completion, the new managers are plugged in at one of the other six operations of Intermodal Cartage Companies.

The experience of completing the program provides adequate training for new managers to hit the ground running. “They are thorough: You spend a good amount of time in each department,” Meyer says.

Katie George Hooser is the chairman’s daughter, who now handles business development for IMCG. She went through the management training program as other candidates do.

“He quizzes you to make sure you’re paying attention,” Hooser says of the one-on-one weekly meetings the trainees have with Wright. He holds weekly sessions with each participant in the program because they don’t report to their department heads but directly to him.

The program is not cut in stone. Wright says he tailors the program for each person, so if there is a department or skill that needs additional focus, the would-be managers are returning for additional training in the deficient area.

Wright and his trainees agree the most vital department is customer service, although the extensive training also includes time spent in all other departments, some of which include repairs and maintenance, gate inspection, revenue accounting, risk management, and driver services, among others.

The drivers are also critical to the smooth operation of IMCG. “The most important asset we have is our drivers,” Wright says. “We do a good job of recruiting company drivers because they are company employees. They have the same benefits as other employees, the same 401(k). They have a quarterly bonus.”

Company drivers are easier to recruit, Randall says, but owner-operators are more difficult to find these days, and that poses a bit of a challenge.

Wright attributes high fuel costs to the decline in the number of owner-operators. The economy in 2008 and 2009 also put many drivers out of business, forcing them to take other jobs.

As the economy slowly rebounds, owner-operators who have taken other jobs are ineligible to work at IMCG because they have no recent driving experience. Each company has its own requirements for hiring drivers. At IMCG, drivers must be 23 years old and have two years of driving experience within the last three years.

Owner Operators are an important labor component, and the percentage is that about half of the drivers IMCG uses are independent drivers.

“We rely on them to assist us with the workload and the number of customers that we have,” Wright says.

Wright says that people are really the driving force of the company, and he never loses site of that. “To me, what’s most important is the excellence and service we provide and the high standards that I not only set for myself but for my employees,” he says. “We’re not just a normal trucking company. We are a professional group of people. We’ve put together a professional organization.”

Frederick Intermodal focuses on relationships

From the Madisonville Meteor –

Joey Frederick has a bigger mission than money.

Not that the owner of Frederick Intermodal — a multi-million company headquartered in an unmarked building at 331 N.  May St. in Madisonville — hasn’t made his share of it.

The company has grown from 32 employees and four satellite offices in 2004, when Frederick bought it from his mother to 137 employees and nine satellite offices. Sales have grown from single digits to double digits of millions during that time.

Frederick Intermodal, which started as Frederick Tire Service in Houston by Frederick’s parents, John and Dianne Frederick, is a container-repair company. It services both the international shipping and domestic transportation communities.

Not only does the company repair the large box containers that ride on ships and railroads, it provides mobile repairs on containers carried by semi-trucks. The company can repair or replace brakes, lights, and tires, do structural welding, and can totally rebuild a container that was in an accident.

“A lot of people know me from living here, but they have no clue what we do here,” Frederick said. “Our job is to make sure that cargo flows. We are a small part of the global supply chain, but we are important. There are a lot of products people buy here that we had a part in getting to them.”

The company has satellite offices in Houston, Dallas, Alliance, Fort Worth, and El Paso in Texas, and in Denver,  Colo.; North Platte, Neb.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Some of its biggest customers are Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Gulf Consolidated Chassis Pool, Mark It Services, Trac International and Domestic, and Maersk.

But Frederick’s mission encompasses much more than his business.

The 40-year-old native of Niles, Mich., who moved to Houston when he was seven-years-old because his father couldn’t stand the cold, is all about his relationships with people and God.

Case in point: Madisonville seventh-grader Austin Blair bursts into the room with Frederick’s daughter, Camryn, carrying a brochure describing the éclairs he is selling to raise money for a project.

Frederick eyes the youth, then tells him to explain why he is there and what he wants. Blair gathers his courage, gives his sales pitch and passes the brochure to the men present. Then he rakes in their orders.

“I feel it is my responsibility, as a good steward of the community, to support the youth,” says Frederick, noting he purchased 12 poinsettias from Blair at Christmas. “But if you want money, you have to come see me. Sell me. We don’t do charity here.”

Frederick’s commitment to the youth is obvious in the plaques lining the hallway of the corporate office. He is the buyer of numerous animals from livestock shows and fairs, including fryer rabbits and penned heifers from the 2010 Madison County Fair.

And since he moved to Madisonville in 2007, he has coached numerous youth sports teams — soccer, basketball and baseball.

Frederick believes giving the youth his time is more important that just writing a check to them.

Frederick, who is married to Shannon and has three children — Misty Haren, Greg Hanes and Camryn — also is active in Crossroads Cowboy Church.

He serves as part-time youth pastor and is a member of the finance team there.

Frederick also is committed to his community. When he first purchased the company, he moved it from Houston to Ft. Worth so it was nearer the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. They bought a house in Ft. Worth and settled in.
Soon after, Shannon’s grandmother in Madisonville became ill, and she went there to take care of her. Frederick sold their Ft. Worth house and rented himself an apartment, bought a house in Madisonville for Shannon, and commuted for three years.

The company was relocated to Madisonville in 2007, after “hitting critical mass,” said Frederick. If it got much bigger — and he needed to add employees and satellite offices — it would be too big to move. The company first moved into the strip mall by Wal-mart.

“Madisonville was more attractive than anywhere,” Frederick said. “My daughter was involved in activities here and I wanted more time at home. I love my church and the community, and the people are very important here. I’m still gone quite a bit, but I get to return home.”

Frederick said he has surrounded himself with good employees here, and with very capable leadership.

Spencer Cook is vice-president of administration, Joey Wells is vice-president of operations, and Brandon Cook is in charge of business development.

“At the end of the day, it’s the people in the company who make it successful,” Frederick said. “It’s the employees who make it what it is. I am very proud to have a committed team. I love the company and am passionate about it, but I really love the people who are making it happen.”

Frederick said he runs the company on the 3-D principle — desire, dedication and discipline to do things correctly the first time.

He is planning to expand into running terminal operations that control cargo, short-line railroad work and doing more road service repair.

But most important to Frederick, who majored in business management at Texas A&M University, is operating a company that is based on religious ethics and values.

Frederick said he owes his success in business to God.

Frederick said the world needs more Christian men and women who have a positive influence on their employees’ lives.

Frederick said he credits his success to divine leading, hard work and running a Christian company that treats people properly.

“Anything I do with Frederick Intermodal stays here on earth,” Frederick said. “But my faith in my Savior is eternal. The Lord has blessed me tremendously and allowed me to be a success, and I will continue to give the glory to God.”

Business leader brings new indoor sport to the Memphis area.

From Memphis Sport Magazine –

Winter can prove brutal to the average soccer player. While playing outdoors is not ruled out entirely, frozen fields and bitterly cold temperatures offer little in the way of pick-up games. For those seeking warmth and competition, an internationally popular alternative has reached the United States, providing athletes the opportunity to take the game indoors.

Futsol, a variant of soccer, is mostly played indoors on a hard court surface. The name is derived from the Spanish futbol de salon, or hall football. Futsol teams have fewer players than those of soccer, playing on a field much smaller than a soccer pitch using a harder ball with less bounce. Because of tighter boundaries, futsol players face a fas-paced game with the need for precise ball control.

At Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC) in Memphis, some of the Mid-South’s finest young soccer players are invited to palay futsol twice a week with area club and college coaches, honing in on their footwork and training during soccer’s off-season. The invitational also allows them to compete at a higher level, free of charge.

For IPC member and futsol co-manager Randy Wright, offering the church’s gym to the athletes was a natural decision. As a former coach of various youth sports at IPC and lifelong athlete, Wright sought a way to assist with futsol in the Mid-South.

“Since futsol is mostly parent-led in Memphis and is not widely offered, hosting it provides an opportunity for me to become very involved,” he said. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment to coach my own children and be involved in something they enjoy. Any part I can have in teaching kids sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork is personally very rewarding.”

Along with co-manager Kevin Parker, Wright serves as timekeeper and official for the futsol scrimmages at IPC as well as guardian to the athletes, ensuring clean matches and hydrated, helathy bodies.

“The players’ parents trust that they can leave their kids here for a couple of hours and know that we’re going to take care of them, make them take water breaks and play fairly, all while providing elite competition,” Wright said. “And, during soccer season, we take the game outdoors so they can practice year-round.”

By day, Wright leads a team of more than 40 employees as Executive Vice President for Intermodal Cartage, a Memphis-based company and home to the largest intermodal terminal in the Southeast. He finds a distinct correlation between the workplace and sports.

“Teamwork is just as critical for business as it is in sports,” Wright said. “Behind my desk, I have a photo that depicts a sailing team working shoulder to shoulder to keep its boat upright. As any team works to reach a common goal, they must put differences aside and have trust for and commitment to one another.”

Spirit of giving

From The Commercial Appeal –

The holiday season became much brighter for several mothers when they received gifts for their children from Intermodal Cartage at its annual gift wrapping party. Intermodal Cartage partnered with Agape Child & Family Services to provide Agape’s Families In Transition Program participants with toys and clothing, just in time for Christmas. The program serves homeless, pregnant women and their children. Agape is the only agency in Memphis exclusively serving this population long term.

“Our employees come together each year to purchase gifts for the families,” said Katie Hooser of Intermodal Cartage. “As an organization, it means so much to us to meet the women whose lives are affected by our employees’ generosity. Giving the gift of Christmas is very special, and we’re so glad to play a role in that.”

Early experience leads Moore to helm of National Drayage

From The Memphis Business Journal –

Christopher Moore, President, National Drayage Services LLC

First job: Parts clerk for a lawn mower shop

Education: Bachelor of science in economics/finance from Christian Brothers University

Residence: Arlington, Tenn.

Business philosophy: Right is right, wrong is wrong, period.

Best way to keep competitive edge: Never be content with where you are! Today’s “good” is tomorrow’s “mediocre” or worse. You can’t capitalize on new opportunities if you’re satisfied with where you’re at right now. You might as well just get out of the way so the competition can capitalize.

Guiding principle: Don’t do anything you’re not prepared to answer for later.

Yardstick of success: Whether in big things or small things, if the Lord is pleased, then THAT is success.

Goal yet to be achieved: My next goal is a certain number of locations and truck count by the end of 2012. I’m always updating my goals. I had an English teacher in high school, Mrs. Zills, who said it best. I can’t quote her word for word 20 years later, but it was to the effect of “Regularly update your goals. When you get close to attaining a goal, set another one.” You have to keep pushing yourself.
Judgment calls

Best business decision: Accepting the opportunity to start NDS

Worst business decision: Missing key family events because duty called

Toughest business decision: Turning down the “perfect job” that I had been patiently waiting several years to come open

Biggest missed opportunity: I often have “what-if” moments about not pursuing law school or my master’s degree.

Mentor: Not that a mentor necessarily has to be your employer, but I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had some great bosses over the years. First and foremost, the most obvious mentor is Mark George. The other two would be Bill Duff and Mike Baker. All three have believed in me and invested a lot of time and energy in helping me to grow. All three have been uniquely different in how they mentored me. But take away any one of their efforts and I would not be where I am today.

Word that best describes you: Persevering

True confessions

Like best about job: I like challenges and every day is a big challenge. There is never a dull moment.

Like least about job: I never know what to expect each day.

Pet peeve: Lack of structured organization. I don’t know how people can function with disarray.

Most important lesson learned: When a problem arises, fix it first, immediately! Afterward, there is time to analyze what caused the problem and how to prevent it from happening again.

Person most interested in meeting: James Addison Baker III. He has witnessed or participated in much of what is and will be in our history books. He’s just an intriguing person to me.

Most respected competitor: Gage Blue, president of Carolina National Transportation. I see his operation a little different than others. It’s not that I don’t have respect for other competitors, but most of our competitors are all the same.

Three greatest passions: God, family, work — the rest is trivial.

First choice for a new career: Attorney, specifically a trial lawyer.

Predilections

Favorite quote: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” — Sun Tzu in Art of War

Most influential book: No book has been more influential to me than the Bible, but specific to business I would say any of the economic/business writings of Ichak Adizes.

Favorite cause: Local, national and international missions of the church

Favorite status symbol: My nearly 15-year-old worn, scuffed and dinged (but still strong) wedding band.

Favorite movie: “The American President” or “Wall Street.” I’m a big fan of Michael Douglas.

Favorite restaurant: Subway (yes, seriously)

Favorite vacation spot: Either a good Gulf Coast beach or Manhattan/NYC.

What’s on your iPod: Crazy blend of everything (MercyMe, KISS, Hank Jr., Coldplay, Motley Crue, Colt Ford)

Favorite way to spend free time: Family events first, then driving or going to the gym (any kind of activity where I can think/focus on what’s most important in the days ahead).