Intermodal Eye is delighted to welcome a guest post from Mason George, Regional Manager at IMC Companies, a business providing intermodal trucking services across North America.
Memphis, Tennessee is doing a little more these days than smoking world-famous ribs and giving tours of Elvis Presley’s Graceland. It is widely considered to be North America’s Logistics Center.
The headline may seem like a colossal title for a city of its size, but in this article, we will dive into five contributing factors that helped establish Memphis as the legitimate intermodal transportation powerhouse that it is today.
Intermodal freight transportation, in its simplest form, is the use of two types of transportation for the same freight. Memphis’ central location, its already established rail lines, and the fact that two major highways, one connecting the each coast to west coast (i-40) and one connecting the gulf to the great lakes (i-55), meet in Memphis make it a perfect meeting point for many intermodal transactions.
2. A Local Superstar
You know the phrase better lucky than good? Well in the case of Fred Smith, Memphis’ intermodal industry was lucky. Fred Smith, the owner and founder of FedEx, was born and raised in Memphis, so when Smith decided to start FedEx in his home town more than 35 years ago, the Memphis intermodal community became forever grateful. Certain additional perks include a competitor named UPS who picked up on Smith’s lead by opening a Memphis-based 500K plus facility of its own and the Memphis International Airport, which hosts a designated airstrip that can accommodate even the largest cargo types.
Memphis is one of the most weatherproof cities in the US, and when you are in an industry that can be seized to a halt by inclement weather, picking a location that is not prone to Mother Nature’s fury is a wise choice.
4. Success Breeds Success
Cities and their residents are always looking for an identity, and if a city happens to produce several successful companies in the same industry, rest assured that such a city and its residents will deem its hometown as the breeding ground for industry success. Take “Silicon Valley” for example, since its knighthood regarding technology, it has attracted some of the world’s most innovative companies including Google and Facebook. Memphis, although not quite on par with Silicon Valley, has enjoyed a sense of such superstardom. With companies like IMC Companies, Mallory Alexander, and many more, Memphis has branded itself as the place to go to find intermodal success, and it does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Memphis is committed to sustaining and developing long-term success in the intermodal industry through education. The University of Memphis has a program called Freight Transportation Leadership Academy. This program is designed to equip intermodal professionals with the leadership skills necessary to operate as an elite intermodal executive. The program pulls professionals from Memphis’ top intermodal trucking and logistics companies to teach and provide networking opportunities for future intermodal professionals.