One hears origin stories of companies all the time where an entrepreneur sat in his garage, created a gadget or machine, and the success of that device became the foundation of a business that today is very strong. In a similar vein, TDS Transport Inc. also started small, but the work it was doing was very large – in size and importance. TDS began in 2005, when founder Tom Schmidt was using his one truck to pull RVs and travel trailers for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to Tom’s brother, Jeff Schmidt, who is director of TDS Management Services, explains “a lot of blood, sweat and tears” were shed to get the operation from one truck to where it is today, but it has all been worth it.

“Rugged” and “clean” are two words that go together just as much as “durable” and “lightweight,” but they are adjectives that Supreme Industries Inc. ascribes to its truck bodies every day. The national manufacturer with facilities in California, Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Georgia has been in business since 1974, designing and building truck bodies for almost every truck-needing industry.

Movers, service providers such as plumbers and landscapers, food manufacturers, deliverers, construction workers and more have all used Supreme truck bodies as their means to haul and deliver equipment and supplies. Although Supreme Industries’ clients vary, Interim President and CFO Matt Long says there is one specification that crosses all industries.

The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 deregulated railroad operations, easing the price structure, streamlining mergers and expediting line abandonment processes. This presented an opportunity for entrepreneurs such as Rick Bertel, chairman and CEO of Rio Grande Pacific Corp. (RGPC), to purchase light-density branch line railroads and set up short railroad operations servicing local business.

A public utility, Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy. It provides natural gas and electric services to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 of the Lower Peninsula’s counties. Among the company’s assets are 12 coal-fired and two oil-fired generating plants, 13 hydroelectric plants, a pumped storage generating plant and several combustion-turbine plants.

Although Consumers Energy is CMS Energy’s principal business, the organization also operates CMS Enterprises, a North American independent power business. CMS Enterprises has an ownership interest in seven generating plants in Michigan and North Carolina.

As a company specializing in export management for railway equipment, AMECO has been witness to one of the largest paradigm shifts the global railway industry has ever seen. However, despite the changes, AMECO continues to be a leader in providing railways worldwide with the equipment they need to remain on the right track. Chairman Howard McCall says this is due in large part to the company’s expertise and dedication to quality products.

“I would say our greatest strength is really two-fold,” McCall says. “It’s the support from our principals that support us from a technical standpoint and from a quality manufacturing standpoint. We sell quality goods with a significant amount of technical expertise behind them.”

In 1962, the Beatles released their first recording, “Love Me Do,” “West Side Story” was in theaters and the First Wal-Mart discount store opened in Bentonville, Ark. That also was the year Sammons Trucking started hauling lumber and commodities between the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.

Some things are meant to be. When Richard Holliday was 18 years old, he was driving through Scottsbluff, Neb., when he ran out of gas. That proved to be a strike of luck. Holliday decided to stay in town, got a job in the trucking industry and, in 1973, he started his own transportation company, Nebraska Transport Co. (NTC). The new business’ first job was transporting a washing machine across the state.

Melton Truck Lines Inc. Senior Vice President of Operations Russ Elliott says there’s one constant in the flatbed trucking industry, no matter what the state of the business: Do what you promise to do, and you’ll survive. “No one ever expected you to be perfect, but everyone expects you to be honest and accurate,” he says.

Corporate Head Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK
NR4 6AU

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North American Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611


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