Henry leads Intermodal Cartage in moving most containers

The Memphis Business Journal recently did a profile on Joel Henry, President, Intermodal Cartage Co. Inc.

First job: First paying job was when I was 14, roofing houses during summer break. But, I learned the meaning of work from my mom and dad at an early age in our garden, which was relied upon to feed our large family.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in transportation and marketing from Mississippi State University

Residence: Germantown

Business philosophy: Treat customers, employees and vendors as you would want them to treat you.

Best way to keep competitive edge: Invest in employees and technology, and never get complacent

Guiding principle: Christian faith, honesty, high morals and integrity

Yardstick of success: Sustainable, profitable growth

Goal yet to be achieved: Convince my teenage girls that I actually might have an ounce or two of brains
Judgment calls

Best business decision: Moving my corporate staff and I from an off-site, plush office to our 148-acre operations and depot facility located at Holmes Road

Worst business decision: Reducing fleet tractor count in 1st quarter 2010

Toughest business decision: Eliminating employee incentive bonus plan during 2009 recession

Biggest missed opportunity: Not recognizing the needs of a large export customer to add enough drivers to facilitate their volumes

Mentor: My daughters, as they remind me through their actions to be humble, smile and keep life simple

Word that best describes you: Consistent

True confessions

Like best about job: Working with an awesome team

Like least about job: Peaks and valleys of the world economy and the impact it has on our company

Pet peeve: Dishonest people

Most important lesson learned: Never retaliate; calmly digest all data prior to making a decision

Person most interested in meeting: Kid Rock

Most respected competitor: Comtrak Logistics

Three greatest passions: Family and friends, succeeding, watching my girls play soccer

First choice for a new career: Greeter at Wal-Mart


Favorite quote: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” — Lou Holtz

Most influential book: The Bible

Favorite cause: Alzheimer’s Disease research

Favorite status symbol: Cut-off blue jean shorts

Favorite movie: “The Bourne Identity”

Favorite restaurant: La Perla Tapatia, a Mexican restaurant in Collierville

Favorite vacation spot: Little Dix Bay, B.C.

What’s on your iPod: Country music and Kid Rock

Favorite way to spend free time: Watching soccer and bird hunting

Automobile: Chevy Suburban


Local trucking firms see business boost from intermodal traffic gains this year

From The Memphis Business Journal:

As intermodal freight hits the track toward growth, railroads are gaining momentum in profits and the local trucking industry looks to haul major profits.

Locally, trucking firm Intermodal Cartage Co. Inc. is seeing a boost.

“This city is a big hub,” says Joel Henry, president of Intermodal Cartage. “Our intermodal business via Memphis is around 85 percent.”

Henry monitors intermodal transport trends. He watches how many containers arrive at port cities and how much cargo is being shipped on railroads. Because of the growth in intermodal transport Henry has seen an increase in revenue and has been able to increase his driver count by 18 percent year-over-year, to about 200 drivers.
From Memphis, Intermodal Cartage services about 12 states.

In August, the amount of intermodal traffic hit a three-year high, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. About 1.22 million intermodal trailers and containers were moved domestically and internationally in August 2010, compared to 991,099 in August 2009, according to IANA.

The quick and easy pick-up from rail — and plane — to truck has made Memphis the mecca of intermodal traffic. And with five 1-class railroads, the world’s largest cargo hub at Memphis International Airport and two major interstates, high-volume loads from the East and West coasts and overseas are coming through Memphis to be hauled by local trucking firms.

At the University of Memphis, Martin Lipinski, director of the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, conducts a wide range of multi-disciplinary research on issues related to intermodal freight transportation.
“There’s a relationship now that I think is very positive between the railroad and trucking companies,” Lipinski says. “Traffic in Memphis has certainly picked up within the last couple of months. It seems to be that business is returning.”

Butch Brown is the Memphis terminal manager of Conley, Ga.-based trucking firm Morgan Southern Inc., which hauls freight from railroads directly to local stores or stores within 500-600 miles from the city.

“Our loads have increased allowing us to start hiring again,” he says. “We increased our trucking fleet 20 percent in the past seven months.”

Brown continues to watch predictions for domestic and international intermodal transport. All of his transport is intermodal.

While analysts predict a good end to 2010 for intermodal transportation, Henry is feeling another effect of the 2009 financial dip as he tries to rebuild his driver fleet.

“A lot of drivers didn’t have work, so they got out of the industry. I’m trying to hire both owner operators and company fleet,” he says. “Driving capacity is a huge issue we are all facing right now.”