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FreightWaves Classics: IMC Companies – drayage-focused for 40 years

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IMC Companies began as a regional drayage firm in Memphis 40 years ago. Since then, its leaders have developed a national network of drayage companies. IMC Companies leverages its companies’ local expertise, and has built a technology infrastructure that moves containers faster. IMC Companies is now the largest marine drayage company in the United States.

Serving the international supply chain, IMC partners with beneficial cargo owners, freight forwarders, steamship lines, terminal operators, and other trucking companies it develops innovative drayage solutions, managing better outcomes for its customers.

IMC Companies’ national network of intermodal logistics businesses provide services including container drayage, truck brokerage, warehousing, expedited services, chassis provisioning and secured container storage.

IMC also created a national account team to provide a single voice to large customers. It also partners with 1,200 other trucking companies and over 62,000 drivers, providing expanded capacity for its customers.

The IMC Companies’ comprehensive and integrated network of trucking transport and support centers gives customers the advantage of local market knowledge combined with coast-to-coast coverage.

It also has a modern fleet of trucks, secure container terminals, and a proprietary real-time tracking system. It invested in web-based services, and IMCompass, its internet portal, provides visibility to customers across the country. IMC Companies has also implemented solutions to reduce unproductive lifts, long driver dwell times and inaccessible cargo.

The beginning

In the midst of a recession – and just 20 years old – Mark and Melinda George moved to Memphis in 1982 to start a trucking company – Intermodal Cartage Company (IMCG).

IMCG opened a container yard to store, interchange and perform light maintenance on containers and chassis for steamship lines.

Expanding to other Southeastern markets – and beyond

Over the next 10 years, IMC continued to expand, becoming the Southeast’s largest container drayage company. During that time period, IMC “opened a second service center in Nashville, expanded to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Birmingham, Jacksonville, Savannah and Atlanta.” In addition, the company relocated and expanded its Memphis container yard. IMC also moved its corporate office, Memphis service center and depot operations to a new building located on 164 acres in southeast Memphis.

But IMC did not stop there. The company continued to grow by acquiring other companies and  establishing locations in or near all of the major U.S. ports. Over time, the company created a national network with local expertise. 

The IMC Companies

Atlantic Intermodal Services 

Since 1991, Atlantic Intermodal Services (AIS) has provided superior drayage for clients in key markets across the East Coast. The company and its employees pride themselves on being a premier intermodal transportation resource in the region.

AIS employees understand the advantages and challenges that are present on the East Coast. The company’s locations include Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greer (South Carolina), Jacksonville, Norfolk and Savannah. 

AIS has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a SmartWay Transport Partner for its commitment to improve the environmental performance of its freight operations.

Each of its trucks is capable of providing visibility to clients in real time. Information can be accessed through its web-based tracking portal or it can be sent via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

DNJ Intermodal Services 

Since 1979, DNJ Intermodal Services (DNJ) has provided superior container drayage throughout the Midwest. When the intermodal industry was just being established, Joe Tovo, Sr. saw opportunity. He founded DNJ Transportation with a single truck and a passion for customer service. As the drayage industry evolved, DNJ evolved with it by adding equipment, facilities and personnel to become one of the largest drayage companies in the Midwest.

Today, DNJ provides intermodal trucking and container drayage options for customers throughout the Great Lakes and Midwest regions. DNJ is a trusted partner for container drayage and intermodal trucking in Bensenville and Chicago, Illinois; Detroit; Eau Claire, Sturtevant, and Wausau, Wisconsin; Elwood and Indianapolis, Indiana; Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Louis.

Gulf Intermodal Services

Gulf Intermodal Services (GIS), has been providing container drayage and logistics services to the Gulf Coast region since 1997. GIS provides superior intermodal logistics and warehousing services, and its locations are strategically positioned in the key markets of Baton Rouge, El Paso, Gulfport, Houston, La Porte, Laredo, Mobile, New Orleans and San Antonio. 

In addition to GIS trucking terminals along the Gulf Coast, the company also offers warehouse space in Mobile, Alabama and La Porte, Texas, supporting its customers’ transloading and warehousing needs.

H&M Intermodal Services

For more than 50 years, H&M Intermodal Services has been a trusted leader in intermodal services, transporting containerized shipments to and from marine terminals, rail ramps and distribution centers across the Northeast. Founded as a small New Jersey trucking company in 1968, the company has grown into a team of 140 team members who deliver cargo and superior service to customers throughout the region. With key locations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, H&M is a go-to resource for moving cargo in the Northeastern U.S.

Like others in the IMC Companies family, H&M strives to provide customers with visibility regarding dwell time, equipment terminations, per-diem spend, chassis utilization and spend, equipment pool reporting, container availability at port and rail, LFD reporting and more. 

Intermodal Cartage Company

The foundational company, IMCG provides container drayage and full-service depots. Its locations in Memphis, Nashville, Dallas, Alliance, Birmingham, Huntsville and Tulsa are in some of the Southeast’s largest rail hubs.

Ohio Intermodal Services 

Ohio Intermodal Services (OIS) is a premier intermodal transportation resource in the Ohio Valley. Its locations in Ohio – Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Marysville, and Worthington – provide flexibility and efficiency for container drayage needs.

OIS merged with TRANSInternational Systems, an intermodal company established in 1973. Together, the companies have expanded their footprint in the greater Ohio Valley area.

Recently OIS added the Louisville, Kentucky market. The new location is part of a strategic growth plan to “expand drayage expertise and services in the Ohio Valley, a region that is currently underserved by transportation carriers hauling and storing containers from rail yards in Louisville.”

The new 11-acre OIS yard is centrally located near the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads and is 14 miles from the Port of Louisville. The facility provides drayage and container storage solutions and a fenced, lighted, and security-controlled yard. OIS plans to make the Louisville location a full-service depot. 

Pacific Drayage Services

Pacific Drayage Services (PDS) is the newest addition to the IMC Companies family of brands. An asset-based trucking and warehouse company, PDS is focused on the ports of Bakersfield, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma. Its fleet is 100% company trucks and drivers.

PDS is strategically located near the ports and specializes in container drayage and warehousing solutions. The company also recently opened a Riverside, California location that offers storage and cross dock services.

PDS also recently announced that it is adding six Volvo electric trucks to its fleet. “We believe this is an investment that will greatly benefit our company, our customers and our environment,” said Jim Gillis, president of Pacific Drayage Services. “We have long been a good steward of the environment and we will continue to find ways to reduce emissions while providing efficient and sustainable supply chain transportation solutions.”

IMC Companies today

IMC Companies now has a national footprint. “IMC is a growth-oriented company. We strategically expand where we see opportunities to provide more comprehensive services for our customers,” said Mark H. George, founder and chairman of IMC.

The IMC Companies employs more than 2,300 people, owns more than 20,000 chassis and containers, and moves more than 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually.

Although well-established, the company continues to innovate. For example, each of the trucks in its fleet are equipped with on-board computers, which allows customers to track the status of cargo at any time. In addition to secure, real-time location tracking data, IMC Companies also provides customers access to container status, estimated arrival time, pool management reports and more.

The majority of the company’s trucks are less than a year old, meaning fewer unnecessary delays. Drivers and other company employees are trained in their areas of expertise. By supplying its drivers with the newest trucks, the latest technologies, and the highest safety measures, IMC seeks to provide a great work environment for its employees as well as a level of customer service that generates long-term customer engagement.