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.”
Posted: July 19, 2012