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September 2021

Seasoned transloader finds value with membership


Matt Furber frequently glanced at the open computer tab displaying TDANA’s homepage, but yet he only recently registered for membership.

As the industry evolves, Matco continues to emphasize service and remain solution-oriented.

“I intended to join for a long time and decided I needed membership with a proper transloading association,” he said. “If I joined anything, I knew this would be the one.”

Despite being new to TDANA, the Matco Industries CEO has years of industry experience. His father purchased the company in 1989 when it was only a small stone supplier offering a railroad siding. Primarily in the trucking business, he initially viewed the business as a side endeavor, but it grew organically into something much larger as Florida East Coast Railway sought a transloading partnership.

Furber, who was studying finance in college and seeking a certified public accountant license, reconsidered his plans and decided to focus on developing the family business as it started to expand.

“I recognized its potential, and taking it over was the best decision I’ve ever made,” he said.

Headquartered in Pompano Beach with six primary and three smaller locations, Matco offers various products. The company predominately serves primary producers such as construction aggregate and dry bulk customers. It also offers additional services such as cleaning, maintenance and storage.

“Usually we’re setting up entire terminals and providing rail cars and negotiating freight rates,” Furber said. “We offer last-mile delivery, meaning we’ll pick up the material and deliver it to customers’ destinations, but we’ll stick within a day’s distance and won’t truck from other people’s locations.”

The CEO says top-notch service is the main driver for the company’s success.

“We go above and beyond,” he said. “Service is the most important aspect of how we operate; because without it, we’d have no growth. We bend over backward to assist.”

Furber lauds the 45 talented, knowledgeable individuals in the company who have made this renowned service possible. While he remains busy visiting sites, meeting with customers in person and exploring new growth possibilities, the others handle everything else and smooth out any issues that may arise. 

The company’s service-oriented philosophies have enabled operations to flourish. Despite pandemic-induced challenges and surrounding issues such as equipment or staffing, nothing has hindered its momentum. 

“We take pride in the positive workplace and great benefit package we offer our employees, which prevents much turnover,” Furber said. “It’s only a matter of finding new candidates that secures our future, along with continuing to meet demands and investing properly.”

As the industry evolves, Matco seeks to think outside the box and remain solution-oriented. Furber describes his energetic employees as good people who work hard and employ thorough communication, rise to challenges, and remain nimble in the dynamic Florida market.

“Our phones are always on as we strive to stay accessible to our clients,” Furber said. “I talk about how we are partners in our customers’ success.”

Furber views process management and training as paramount when it comes to recruiting the new generation. He looks forward to the advice he will receive through TDANA to help the company navigate this process.

“We have to use technology to our advantage and invest in proper systems, as well as offer a good work-life balance that is appealing to incoming employees,” he said. “The work we do is hard, so we must be appealing and emphasize efficiency, safety and a great work culture.”

Furber says he mostly looks forward to networking and learning from other TDANA members about how they navigate the industry’s challenges. In turn, thanks to his many years of experience and Florida’s diverse freight, he can offer his own tips to possibly benefit others.


October Meeting to Examine Industry’s Possibilities


Come see Jack Buffington talk about the transloading industry Oct. 18-20 at the TDANA Fall Regional Conference in Denver. 

Buffington is the Academic Director/Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Denver, and Director of Supply Chain & Sustainability for First Key Consulting, an international consulting firm in the beer industry. He previously was responsible for brewery logistics at Molson Coors and transloading operations at the company’s breweries and distribution centers.

Buffington and his colleagues agree transportation and transloading are going through interesting times. 

“What is compelling about now is that the transportation and logistics professionals are truly the problem-solvers for their companies – front row and center!” Buffington said. “For decades, we’ve been the ‘behind-the-scenes’ people, and now we’re the difference-makers. The challenges are related to a lack of capacity in both equipment and workforce, an inability for stability within a supply chain gripped by the ‘bullwhip effect,’ and a lack of progressive thinking about how to get ourselves out of this problem.”

The future of transloading is growth because e-commerce will continue to expand, particularly near and related to the sea ports, he said. However, he added transloading will need to improve on its balance between flexibility and efficiency, as e-commerce will demand both.  

“The industry can improve in this area,” Buffington said. “If there ever was a time when problem-solving and solutions were required, it’s now. Industry professionals need to find new ways to solve problems that they’ve never faced before in their careers. Plus, after a year plus of COVID lockdowns, networking has become more important than ever.”

Despite the challenges in today’s markets, Buffington has seen those who are finding a way through it in a balance between People, Process, and Technology. Technology will drive the change when managed effectively alongside People and Process.  

“New technologies are accelerating and changing the industry's business model  fast,” he said. “When our industry thinks of technology, we focus on automation, which is important, but transportation/transload companies need to see themselves moving forward more as data/information companies rather than tangible assets like tractors, containers and rail cars. This is an important distinction moving forward.”

Buffington is working directly with transportation and logistics companies for them to understand this paradigm shift. He notes the market that they operate in isn’t the same as it was a decade ago, or even five years ago, and it will change continuously.

One area of interest is blockchain technology and the way it will transform how operators/suppliers interact with one another in a more decentralized/liberated manner.  

“This is both good and bad: good if you understand how the future of supply chains will work, and unfortunate if you miss the bus,” he said. “It’s unclear whether it’ll happen, but blockchain has the potential to decentralize today’s supply chains that are highly centralized between shippers and carriers. This could lead to major disruption, both good and bad.”


Kinzeler talks business development, industry's future


Touting more than two decades in transloading, Bill Kinzeler knows one-and-done training cannot supply sufficient industry knowledge. That’s why the InterMat LLC partner prioritizes guiding the incoming generation and promoting systemic change. 

“We’re in the first inning, or even just batting practice, of a shakeup due to geopolitical events accelerated by the pandemic,” he said. “We need to both reinvent the industry and transform the mindset of incoming professionals.”

Kinzeler, who will deliver his presentation “Business Development in the Post-COVID World” at the upcoming TDANA Fall Regional Conference in Denver, kicked off his career with studying and acquiring transload companies through Kinder Morgan. He ran Houston-area steel transloading operations, served as general manager for Gulf operations and then advanced to Kinder Morgan general manager of material services to oversee 50 operations in 20 states. Kinzeler then transitioned back to business development for Kinder Morgan and Watco Cos.

These experiences enabled Kinzeler and his group to work with many different models and processes, creating a broad knowledge base. Buying, selling and developing facilities offered insight to how to scale up and the pitfalls to expect. 

“The key to success was willingness to adapt, try new things and work toward the best solution, not necessarily the one with which I was most comfortable,” he said. “It also helped me keep my ego in check.”

This dynamic environment played a key role in Kinzeler’s desire to remain in the industry.

“There’s always something different,” he said. “Cargo always moves, but people never stop pursuing better strategies for efficient, reliable service. There’s always something new to address, and I welcome that.”

Through InterMat, Kinzeler currently offers consultations for terminal operators, shippers and transloaders to assist them with supply chain processes. His group also provides services such as capacity and risk analysis, site selection, and equipment review and selection.

“As a partner, I interface with clients and promote our services,” he said. “We’re small but mighty with a six-member grow boasting more than 100 years of industry experience.”

Despite the impressive retention rate within transloading, Kinzeler harbors concern about the coming years and advocates for the appropriate preparation. Already a baby boomer-dominated industry, COVID-19 expedited retirements and the need for a well-trained incoming generation. Efforts to implement training in previous years were often delayed due to recessions and plummeting stocks. 

His colleagues lament this lost decade; and while software offers great resources, it does not bridge the knowledge gap. 

“We need to teach incoming professionals not only something’s purpose, but also how it's done, particularly how outside factors impact the supply chain and cause increased risk,” he said. “No one knows the answer, but I want to work with clients to process these challenges and be part of the solution.”

Kinzeler’s presentation will review how COVID-19 exposed many supply chains’ to potential shocks. The pandemic’s impact will last for many years as it bent long-established models. These factors combined with countless retirements and the vast number of private equity without long-term plans pose a dire need to invest in equipment and personnel to recover. His goals involve enticing millennials and members of Generation Z who may be accustomed to working from home or regularly switching jobs.

“Transloading doesn’t lend itself well to that lifestyle, and you can’t learn it quickly,” he said. “Because young people like challenges, we must strive to convince them this field offers exactly that if they stick with it. Companies that need to succeed will take a fresh look at previous processes and think of new solutions.”

Kinzeler will examine business development’s three-pronged solution: financial growth with existing assets; working with clients to develop new assets to meet goals and needs; and how buyers and sellers can prepare for acquisitions and mergers. 

“I emphasize new technology and strategies as we can’t use the same systems upon which we’ve previously relied,” he said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation because it depends on the specific business and clientele; therefore, my presentation will not so much instruct as it will inspire.”

The industry professional encourages members to register for the Oct. 18-20 TDANA Fall Regional Conference in Denver to receive diverse perspectives on many topics. His presentation will assist attendees – both buyers and sellers – in diagnosing their businesses with various key prompts.

“The information I’ll share will equip transloaders with the right mindset needed to plan for the future logistically and realistically,” Kinzeler said. “If they’re not able to check all of the boxes right now, I’ll offer guidance on how they can get there.” 


TDANA Fall Conference

    Miss networking? Want to expand your connections? Need updates on the latest market drivers and new technology?

    Register today for the

    TDANA Fall Conference!
    Oct. 18-19, 2021
    Denver Westin Downtown (just blocks from Union Station)

    Join us for the first in-person event for the transloading community in 2021! 

    Register Today!


      • Leadership Market Outlook from Dean Piacente, CEO, OmniTRAX
      • Business Development in a Post-COVID World, Bill Kinzeler
      • Blockchain Technology and its Impact on the Transportation Industry - Jack Buffington, University of Denver
      • Unique networking event Oct. 19 with the Denver Transportation Club!


      North American
      freight-rail traffic highlights


      From the Sept. 3, 2021 AAR Rail Time Indicators report

      This month’s report reflects the significant impact on rail volumes as transportation industry personnel navigate many supply chain challenges. 

      U.S. total carloads in August averaged 233,691 per week, a 4.1% increase from the prior year.

      Last month, 14 of the 20 U.S. carload commodities tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with August 2020. These include:

      Food products

      639 carloads


      Farm mill products

      7,102 carloads


      Grain mill products

      20,666 carloads



      3,006 carloads


      Lumber and wood products

      7,618 carloads


      Iron and
      steel scrap

      2,993 carloads


      Motor vehicles & parts

      7,948 carloads


      Stone, clay and glass products

      3,282 carloads


      Waste and nonferrous scrap

      1,820 carloads


      Nonmetallic minerals

      1,839 carloads


      All other carloads

      418 carloads



      U.S. Commodity groups posting decreases as compared to August 2020 include:


      15,539 carloads


      Farm products excluding grain

      15,539 carloads


      Grain mill

      1,190 carloads



      Petroleum & petroleum products

      1,177 carloads


      Lumber & wood products

      606 carloads


      Motor vehicles & parts

      10,640 carloads



      YTD through August 2021 compared with 2020:

      U.S. total carloads were



      610,346 carloads



      U.S. intermodal carloads were



      1,071,679 containers and trailers



      Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of


      5,046,182 carloads, containers and trailers


      Mexican railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of


      1,249,033 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers


      from the same point last year.

      Transload Distribution Association of North America

      PO Box 198, LaFox, IL 60147

      331-643-3369 |

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