IMC Companies Awarded “Best In Benefits” In The Mid-South

Memphis-based IMC Companies received the Best in Benefits Award at a recent Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance event.

The award recognizes employers who offer the best benefit plans relative to their peers.

Using medical plan designs, premiums and contributions from employers in the Benefits Benchmarking Survey, consulting firm Milliman calculates the benefit value and cost for each plan and ranks each by the lowest cost-highest benefit metric to determine companies that qualify for the award.

Milliman examined around 430 employers in the Memphis area and IMC Companies was awarded for being in the top 10 employers evaluated in the Mid-South.

“We are extremely proud and honored to be recognized for our benefit plan,” said Tera Jackson, IMC Companies’ vice president of human resources. “Our team members are our No. 1 asset and key to our company’s success and this is one of the ways we can be supportive of them. This is a vital part of the work we do in order to continue to be an employer of choice.”

IMC Companies is a national network of intermodal logistics businesses providing services including container drayage, customs house brokerage, truck brokerage, freight forwarding, warehousing, chassis provisioning and secured container storage.

Jeffrey Holmes Saved Time and Gas Thanks to the MyDriver App

Jeffrey Holmes was one of the first IMC Companies drivers to test a new app that would decrease the amount of time it takes to scan paperwork.Jeffrey Holmes was one of the first IMC Companies drivers to test a new app that would decrease the amount of time it takes to scan paperwork.

“As all drivers know, every minute counts on the road. This app helped me save both time and gas, which affected my take-home pay in a positive way.”

– Jeffrey Holmes, Driver

IMC Companies began testing its MyDriver app earlier this year with a handful of drivers. The app enables drivers to upload paperwork on their phones utilizing the device’s built-in camera.

“You don’t have to be near your truck’s tablet or computer to scan paperwork anymore,” said Stephen Counce, senior business applications analyst at IMC Companies. “And, you don’t have to come into the office. As long as you can access the app, you can upload your paperwork anytime and anywhere.”

For Holmes, the convenience of the app made a major difference in the time he once committed to scanning documents and the amount of gas it took to get to and from the office.

“You can ask anyone, I’m about as technology illiterate as they come, but this was one of the easiest apps I’ve ever used,” said Holmes. “And, I never had to worry about misplacing my paperwork because it was always there in the app. I could pull it back up at a moment’s notice.”

In addition to paperwork storage, MyDriver serves as a portal for drivers to monitor their pay and CSA score. It also allows drivers to keep up with safety-related responsibilities, such as physical, registration and CDL renewals. Additional features will be added in future app updates.

IMC’s MyDriver app is now available for download! For iPhone users, visit bit.ly/mydriver-ios. For Android users, visit bit.ly/mydriver-android.

Searching for trucks, BCOs turn to dedicated drayage

US beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) have struggled this year to find truckers to haul their containers from congested rail ramps, sparking new demand from shippers to sign long-term deals to lock in dedicated capacity.

Draymen have been stymied by a double whammy this year that is slowing their productivity. The rough winter caused truckers to wait for hours in line to pick up containers from the railroads in Chicago, Memphis, and other key markets. Although the gridlock has eased up recently, trucking companies still complain about how much time is wasted each day tracking down chassis. Read more at the Journal of Commerce.

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.”

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.

Trucking Firms Prepare for Electronic Logging Device Mandate

The trucking industry’s controversial electronic logging device mandate goes into effect Dec. 18, and local trucking companies and drivers have been preparing for most of the year. The ELD helps measure and monitor that drivers are not on the road too many hours each day, that they take mandatory breaks at the appropriate times, and that they are not driving too many hours during a consecutive seven-day period.

Earlier this year, some truckers participated in “ELD or Me” protests in Washington, D.C., while others took to the streets in Fresno, California, to protest the implementation of the rule, which has proved controversial among small owner-operators. To read more, visit The Daily News.