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.



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 Mike BoutinGuest 2015-04-13 18:33:11
Proud of Mike Card. He is an American success story.
A good example of what can happen when education, opportunity, hard work and forward thinking come together.
I was honored to work with them in their first two decades.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Baby. Boom!

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.


Read more...

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Read more...

Unshakable

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


Read more...

Ranking the airlines that fly PDX

The Latest
Friday, August 14, 2015
airlinesthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.


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