In Magazine Article

Read this story in the digital edition of our July/August/September 2021 issue.

By Tina Irgang Leaderman

Trans American Trucking & Warehouse, a leading provider of transport, packing and export services, is growing its footprint in the Baltimore area with a new warehouse while cementing its legacy of customer service and family ownership.

The company got its start in South Plainfield, NJ, in 1976, founded by business partners Ron McGraw and Jim Skow. Skow retired from the company in 2014, but McGraw, at age 80, still comes into the office three days a week, according to his son Craig McGraw.

While he’s based in New Jersey, Craig McGraw oversees Trans American’s Baltimore operations and is also Vice President of Sales & Marketing. He’s worked with the company full-time since he graduated from college in 2005. “I’m one of seven kids, four of which work within Trans America,” he said. “That’s not including the nephews and cousins” who work for the company as well.

The third generation is still preschool-aged, so it’s too early to say whether they’ll one day take over the reins at Trans American, but, as McGraw says, “you never know.”

Trans American truckGrowing in Baltimore

While Trans American’s headquarters remain in New Jersey, the company established a second home base for its trucking operation near the Port of Baltimore about 15 years ago, McGraw says.

“It was a small operation. We were on Quad Avenue with three drivers and three tractor trailers,” he recalls. “We had been getting a lot of rate requests from our customers where a lot of the freight originated from the Port of Baltimore, so we wanted to place ourselves in close proximity.”

The move into Baltimore proved successful, and in January, Trans American significantly grew its footprint in the area by taking over a warehouse on Rolling Mill Road that had been vacated by global logistics company DSV.

The time was ripe for an expansion because “there was a lot of business coming into Baltimore,” McGraw said. “Everywhere, it seemed like the volume was picking up, so it was a good time to get a bigger yard in Baltimore and have a warehouse that can service the freight that comes in.”

The move has also allowed Trans American to consolidate its trucking and warehousing operations under a single roof. Today, the company employs 55 truck drivers and owns more than 200 trailers.

“We have four gentlemen working at the Baltimore warehouse, and we’re looking to expand that also,” McGraw said. In addition, the staff in Baltimore includes Trucking Operation Manager Jerrod “Jay” Huggins and Co-Warehouse Managers Gina Kikola and Sara Soistman.

Kikola and Soistman are both veterans of the warehouse’s DSV days (and the days before that, when another logistics company called UTI had ownership of the space), but have been pleased with their experience working for Trans American so far.

“They’re very nice,” Kikola says of the company. “I love working for them. Since we’re Trans American, I’m much happier coming to work.”

Soistman agrees: “They definitely try to make things smooth. Trans American within months updated our technology and got us new and better things to do our jobs.”

Huggins has been with Trans American for 10 years, which he notes still doesn’t make him the longest-tenured trucking employee by a long stretch. “Most of the people who work here have been around for 20,” he said. “Even the drivers, their longevity is great. The company makes sure their employees are taken care of.”

Speaking of longevity, Trans American’s ability to stay successful for more than 40 years comes down to a commitment to satisfying its customers, Huggins said. “Our attitude is to serve the customer. Whatever it takes to get something done, we’re going to make it happen.”

Meanwhile, McGraw emphasizes that Trans American’s 40-plus years in business couldn’t have happened without a dedicated team. “Employees can make or break a company,” he said. “We have a really strong core of good people who make our business run smooth.”

Trans American Trucking & Warehouse At a Glance

Year Founded: 1976

Headquarters: South Plainfield, NJ

Baltimore Location: 7700 Rolling Mill Rd., Baltimore, MD 21224