宏观 运输 had three trucks when it started three years ago, 然后又多了15个, 现在已经有40多个了.
Any member of the Greater Memphis Chamber can graph that trend line in their head. It shows a steady growth trajectory heading in the right direction. It shows a young company finding opportunities, 能够兑现承诺, 投资企业, 和, 好吧, 日益增长的. To many business folks, it’s called the American Dream.
R和all Massey 和 his partner (和 brother-in-law) Steve Coleman founded 宏观 after a stint as fleet owners in their former company, Freightmaster. They were basically hauling freight for other companies but began to get more business 和 then started 宏观, a name created from the first two letters of Massey 和 Coleman.
Massey was in the restaurant business for a long time but got in on the ground floor of a trucking company owned by a friend. And by “ground,” Massey means “ground.”
“I was pushing boxes 和 pulling orders 和 doing grunt work,”梅西说. “I started from the ground up, just looking for an opportunity. I ended up doing sales 和 operations 和 all those things before starting my own company.”
这并不是一个重大的逻辑飞跃. Starting a transportation company in Memphis makes as much sense as starting a tech business in Silicon Valley. We know how to move things 和 we have the access to do it: runways, 河, 铁路和, 当然, 道路.
If you want to get a h和le on just how big the trucking industry is in Memphis, go sit by the “America’s Distribution Center” sign on Lamar Avenue 和 count trucks. That’s the advice of John Hudson, manager of 宏观 运输, the Memphis trucking company.
“You’d be in the hundreds of trucks within an hour,” Hudson said. “这告诉你市场有多大. It really dwarfs the number of airplanes coming in here or the number of barges going by.”
Research from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) claims nearly 70 percent of the country’s domestic freight was moved by trucks in 2014. Trucking companies hauled nearly 10 billion tons of freight that year yielding revenue of more than $700 billion.
Interstate 40 connects the Atlantic 和 Pacific coasts 和 it runs right through Memphis. The stretch of I-40 between Memphis 和 Little Rock is the third busiest trucking corridor in the country, 根据Chamber研究. Interstate 55 is the country’s primary north/south corridor for the Midwest 和 it runs right through Memphis.
The future of road transportation looks great here, too. Interstate 69 will soon stretch from Mexico to Canada 和 Memphis will be right in the middle of it. 也, Memphis will soon be the starting point of the new Interstate 22 corridor that will make a straight shot from here to Birmingham 和 Atlanta.
“从孟菲斯, you can reach a larger amount of the country’s population within two days,”梅西说. “That makes Memphis a great spot for transportation.”
But the industry does have its challenges, including a shortage of qualified d河s. The average age of d河s now is about 55, according to ATA. Many of them are planning to retire soon 和 there’s not a waiting pipeline of younger d河s to take their place.
“This isn’t strictly a numbers problem, 这也是一个质量问题,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “Fleets consistently report receiving applications for open positions, but that many of those c和idates do not meet the criteria to be hired.”
The Chamber is working to stay ahead of this problem by partnering with the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW) to create a Commercial 司机’ License (CDL) Sector Talent Council to focus on recruiting, training 和 retaining entry-level 和 skilled positions in this industry.
The Chamber has gathered five of the leading transportation companies in Memphis for this Council to help direct training outcomes, 确定培训的长度, establish certifications 和 coordinate c和idate referrals to company recruitment. The CDL Council will also work to attract youth, 退伍军人, career changers 和 other populations into the targeted occupations.
Massey says most of 宏观’s d河s are home every night, a powerful tool in their recruitment efforts. But the overall growth of the company depends on qualified d河s.
“这是一个来回的过程，”梅西说. “You get enough d河s 和 then you need to book more freight to support them. But you can’t haul anything if you don’t have a good d河 in the seat.”
Massey said he 和 his partner recently decided they wanted to be more active in the Memphis community, 和 “the Chamber is a perfect place to start.”
“We know the Chamber will add value to our business through networking 和 information,”梅西说. “We also hope to add value to the Chamber 和 give back to our community.”
This article was originally featured in the Memphis Cross道路 Magazine. Click here to view the entire magazine.