By Mary Maushard
Photography by Donovan Eaton Photography
ContainerPort Group (CPG) has been moving containers in and out of the Port of Baltimore for more than four decades. Today, the Port has the fastest-growing intermodal terminal of the 26 in CPG’s network, keeping about 100 trucks loaded and on the road every day.
With 110 independent drivers in its Baltimore fleet and a staff of 12 at its Fisher Road office, CPG is among the largest drayage providers at the Port, said Rob Movshin, Vice President of CPG’s Northeast region, which includes ports in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Founded in Cleveland in 1971 as Rail Container Services, the firm is a leading service provider to the transportation industry. In 1973, the company founded a sister company, Midwest Container Services, which opened the Baltimore facility in 1978. The two entities merged in 1986 to become ContainerPort Group, with headquarters in Cleveland.
In addition to its 31 locations, CPG has eight container yards east of the Rocky Mountains. CPG operates facilities and terminals throughout the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Northeast, Southeast and Gulf regions. Its 575 employees and 1,300 independent contractors provide intermodal container truckload and logistics trucking, inland container yard terminal and transloading operations and container repair, modification, sale and rental.
“We are a people-oriented, family-run business with a focus on creating solutions that work for our customers and drivers,” said Katie Lovett, Director of Enterprise Marketing for World Shipping Inc., the parent company of CPG.
The Baltimore operation includes a seven-acre secured yard, terminals at both Seagirt and Dundalk Marine terminals and a local, regional and long-haul fleet with ready access to interstate highways and to both CSX and Norfolk Southern rail lines.
All of CPG’s drivers own and operate their own trucks. Working under contract to CPG, they deliver containers but do not unload them. “Owner-operator is a very good relationship for port drayage,” said Movshin, “because it gives the drivers choice” of when and where they work and what loads they haul. Drivers who want to be home evenings and weekends can opt for short hauls that fit within the 12-hour clock they work under.
“They work for themselves; they work with us,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on really understanding drivers’ needs and catering our operations to those needs,” said Lovett. Roads, fuel, tolls and safety are CPG’s main concerns. Drivers are paid by the load at the completion of the load.
What’s in a container doesn’t matter to truckers and CPG’s staff. What does matter is where it’s going, how much it weighs and when someone will be available to receive it. As long as it’s legal cargo, CPG will take it on its way to a warehouse, railcar, cargo ship or intermediate stop.
In Baltimore, CPG’s biggest import cargos include furniture, office and restaurant supplies, and general merchandise for big retailers who ship it to distribution warehouses in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
“The volume going in and out of the Port of Baltimore has increased year over year,” Movshin said. “We’re very excited about the Port. I think the Port of Baltimore is an excellent partner, because Port personnel understand what it takes to be trucker-friendly, and they work to achieve that standard. They also go out of their way to ask how the Port can help CPG and its truckers.”
Movshin counts Ports America Chesapeake and the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration among CPG’s most supportive partners. CPG’s sister company, World Distribution Services, maintains a 150,000-square-foot warehouse near the Port.
As a leading provider of creative domestic and global supply-chain solutions, World Distribution Services caters to customers who need short-term inland storage for faster order-to-port times. “This helps with port congestion and capacity issues for regional and over-the-road loads,” said Lovett.
Port congestion and capacity issues are industry trends, she said, and CPG is “continuously creating solutions for them.” Lovett cited the addition of truckload services in 2018 as a way to help domestic transportation beyond ports.
In 2018, CPG and ASF Transportation Group merged under the CPG brand. Comprised of ASF Intermodal, ASF Truckload, ASF Brokerage and Middle Bay Transportation, ASF brought about 600 independent contractors, plus dispatchers, managers, customer service and support teams to the combined enterprise.
Since then, Movshin said business has gotten bigger and better in Baltimore. “I have an energetic leader in Michael Smith who has created an enthusiastic team, which positions us well for continued growth in Baltimore,” he said.
ContainerPort Group AT-A-GLANCE
8208 Fisher Road
Baltimore, Md. 21222
Rob Movshin, VP Northeast Region
- 12 in Baltimore, plus 110 truckers
- 575 in U.S.
- 1,300 independent truckers