On March 6, 1972, a flatbed from Chicago pulled a load of steel into a yard in Des Moines, Iowa, and thus began an adventure that became the largest employee-owned open deck transportation company in the country.
TMC Transportation is celebrating 50 years in business all this year. It kicked things off with a birthday celebration complete with cake at all company locations.
Once founder Harrold Annett purchased the dormant trucking company, The Mickow Corporation, he began an impressive journey to grow TMC into the organization it is today.
Starting with only six trucks and an office staff of two, the company now operates out of four terminals and a dozen Logistics offices. In 1984, the company name changed to TMC Transportation.
Since that first load, TMC's mission has been to set itself apart in the industry as a premium flatbed carrier. To achieve this goal, TMC focuses on hiring the most professional drivers in the industry who consistently deliver safely and on time for customers and today its claim-free and on-time delivery record is the best in the business.
The company's success depends on many people - including drivers who keep freight moving, office and shop employees who support the business, and dedicated customers who rely on TMC for their deliveries. Putting all the logistical pieces together to make it run smoothly is both science and art, but at the heart of the entire operation, it runs off the work ethic and determination of the people involved.
In 50 years, TMC has worked through national tragedy, recessions, and the recent pandemic. In those times, Annett considered how these events impacted employees and customers. Instilling a culture of pride, excellence, and hard work into his people has paid off.
Even during challenging times, employees have persevered. Due to this exchange of loyalty and passion for the long-term success of TMC, Annett created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving ownership back to the employees.
"I know the only way to make sure our culture survives, and our company continues to thrive, is to put the ownership into the hands of the people who appreciate it the most, you, my friends, and employees,” Annett wrote in an October 2013 email to employees. “You have worked, and continue to work, side by side with me, to build one of the absolute best trucking companies in the industry and you deserve it. So, I am putting my trust in all of you and establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, which means TMC will become an employee-owned company.”
In addition to the core carrier business, TMC opened a Logistics Division in 2010. Diversification of its capabilities through this endeavor has proven to be a great benefit to TMC and the additional customer base it has created. Since then, the company has opened offices in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.
“Through our Logistics Division, we have been able to expand transportation solutions to more customers by being able to move just about any kind of freight for them, in addition to the flatbed capabilities that are the hallmark of our asset business,” EVP of operations Travis Johnson said. “With 70 percent of Logistics freight being flatbed, we can fill the basket full of freight and move it with our company trucks, as well as with partner carriers.”
The goal for TMC is to not only hold fast to the success brought through the past 50 years but to continue to grow into the future. Freight demand remains strong and, therefore, the need for truck drivers is at an all-time high.
Career opportunities abound in the transportation industry and TMC seeks to attract employees to increase its success in the areas of Diesel Technology, Information Technology, Logistics/Supply Chain Management, Sales, Marketing and Recruiting. On-site training and development programs are available.
The company is still formulating plans for its year-long celebration, but in addition to the date recognition, it has created some commemorative merchandise for purchase and put up a celebratory billboard in Des Moines, the place it all began.