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|Articles - May 2013|
|Monday, April 29, 2013|
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BY STEVE WARGA
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.”
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.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
BY MEGHAN NOLT
VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Monday, November 10, 2014
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.
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