Combined Transport keeps on trucking

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013

BY STEVE WARGA

0513 Tactics 01
// Photo by Jamie Lusch

Think trucks are smelly, polluting dinosaurs crowding the nation’s highways? Think again, says Mike Card, president of Central Point-based Combined Transport. “I don’t believe the general public understands how important the industry is to commerce,” says Card, a second-generation owner who presides over one of the largest Oregon-based trucking outfits. Card says 85% of the state’s communities are served exclusively by truck: no air, no pipelines, no rail. “The most efficient way to do business today is to have low inventories resupplied by timely and affordable deliveries via trucks,” he observes. “Otherwise you have to increase inventory costs, which means [raising] prices.”

Thanks to a one-year turn as chairman of the American Trucking Association in Washington, D.C., Card, 54, has an international platform for spreading the gospel that trucks move the world. But he’s quick to say the trucking lobby needs to do a better job of getting that message across. “People see our trucks as impediments on the highway,” he says. “That’s a shame. We need to change our industry’s image.”

One by one, Card addresses prevailing industry myths and realities. Theoretically, trains can haul more freight with less pollution than trucks can, he says. “But anytime you want to replace trucking with rail, you can’t do it. Rail doesn’t go to the grocery store or the gas station, and it never will.” Except for bulk commodities like coal or grain, trucks are the only form of transportation capable of delivering life’s daily necessities, Card insists. “The toilet paper and the T-shirts you buy? They all got there by truck.”

0513 Tactics 02

Combined Transport

President: Mike Card

Employees: 550

Annual revenue 2012: $127M

Factoid: 85% of Oregon communities supplied exclusively by trucks

As for his industry’s contribution to pollution, Card acknowledges that many trucking companies still gripe about emissions reductions imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2007. “But I think [the rules] have been great,” he says. “I tell people that the air coming out of our trucks running in Los Angeles is cleaner than the air going in for nitrogen oxide, sulfur and particulates. It’s good for the industry that we cleaned up our engines.”

Card’s advocacy dates back to the 1980s, when his father, Richard, joined the ranks of “deregulation babies” who seized the opportunity to establish their own trucking companies after President Jimmy Carter signed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, which opened the industry to more competition. Card and brothers David and Jon, plus stepbrother Ron Moore, worked with Richard to build Combined Transport into a company that now has 550 employees operating 450 trucks across North America and into parts of Mexico.



 

More Articles

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


Read more...

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121214-xmaslist1BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.


Read more...

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS