MHX – Safe, timely, accurate

written by BVM December 6, 2018
MHX Solutions cylinder shaped metal ingots being moved by forklift.

MHX

Safe, timely, accurate

 

Business View Magazine interviews Brooke Smith, VP of MHX Solutions, as part of our focus on the logistics, transload, and transportation sector.

MHX is a California-based, full-service, transload and transportation company that was formed in March 2017, from the merger of a pair of legacy, family-owned transload and transportation companies. “We come from two of the dominant transload companies in Southern California – Budway Enterprises and Ancon KOT,” explains MHX’s Vice President of Sales (and Partner), Brooke Smith, previously Brooke McLeod. “Budway Enterprises has been around since 1948. It was started by my great grandfather, Vincent, ‘Bud’ McLeod. The business grew from a small truck in the backyard, to public warehousing and distribution with warehouses around California, to less than truckload trucking, to a mega transload facility, to who we are, today.”

“Ancon Transportation started in 1968,” Smith continues. “Our partners, the Hardin family, started by Conrad Hardin, began his business providing environmental clean-up services and transportation around the Port of Los Angeles, and later branched out to create a trucking company that was primarily port-focused. In 2014, they strategically acquired, ‘Keep On Trucking’ and became Ancon KOT. What made the merger between Budway and Ancon KOT unique was that both companies were doing primarily the same business with different primary focuses. Budway focused the majority of its business on domestic, large volume movements and was supported by import, whereas Anton KOT focused on import services and was supported by domestic. We combined the leaders in our industry to find out how we can be more successful, together. So, this is who we are as MHX; our name came from combining the partner families: the McLeod and the Hardin family. It was important to us as a company to remember the companies and families that gave us the opportunity to be who we are but also come together as a new leader in our industry”

Today, the newly-formed MHX has seven rail-served facilities throughout California, 170 employees, and a fleet of approximately 80 trucks to support the movement of its customers’ products. It moves a multitude of products –steel, aluminum, lumber, wallboard, rebar, tires, dry bulk, consumer goods, and hazardous material – from its rail-served facilities, the break-bulk ports, and container terminals out of the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Stockton. “Our customers ship large volumes and need to move product efficiently to their end users,” says Smith. “So, we seamlessly marry rail and boat distribution supported by an efficient fleet of trucks to provide an efficient solution.”

Smith believes that one of MHX’s main advantages in a very competitive sector is its deep understanding and application of information. “We know our data points,” she exclaims. “We believe that you can always improve something if you know the information, so we analyze every origin and destination pair at every time of day throughout California where our trucks deliver. We know the miles and minutes for all our deliveries. By tracking that information, we can look at the best time to deliver, where’s the demand, what are the traffic patterns, and how we can be most cost-efficient for our customers. We meet our customers’ demands as far as the end delivery and then, we work backwards to find the right facility and we staff that facility to move the product in the most efficient manner at the lowest cost. We know how long everything takes and we really study that. We know the dwell time at all of our facilities to know exactly how long our trucks are going to sit; we know the exact time it’s going to take to go from our facilities to wherever the destination is, as well as the pull time to unload. We believe our efficiency is what sets us apart from our competition.”

“We try to think about, not what we are going to do today, but what are we not going to do,” she continues. “We talk about our ‘jeopardy loads.’ Out of the 400 loads we’re doing today, what five are at risk? And, if you know your data points, you can look at the five and have people address the issues. By doing that, we offer our customers a lot of transparency and confidence. If we have a load to deliver, it’s going to be delivered, and if we have an issue, you’re going to receive a call from us. Another competitive advantage that we possess is that we’re very strategic about the facilities in which we operate. We only operate in facilities that have strong value, that are in a smart location for the customer, and that can be used efficiently. We’re constantly thinking about how our facilities can drive value for our customers.”

Another way in which MHX provides customer value is by publishing all of its data on online web reports so that its customers are always in the know. “Our President, Vincent McLeod III, says, as individuals, we take our money and put it in a bank and expect the bank to be able to tell us, at any time of day, where our money is,” Smith explains. “Our customers just take that money and turn it into a commodity, and they should be able to ask any question, and we should be able to give them an answer. For instance, is the material on the rail? Is it at one of our warehouses? Is it sitting on the back of a truck or has it been delivered? We should be able to push that information, so they can make smart decisions themselves, in real time and, in turn, grow their business.”

Growing MHX’s business is high on Smith’s agenda. “We spent the first year and a half of our merge building a strong culture for the company,” she reports. “We spent a lot of time focused on that culture, and now we get to grow. We’ll continue to grow adding new trucks, assets, facilities, and more drivers. We’re currently focused on expanding our container division. We recently have introduced rail in our heavyweight corridor facility and we’re really excited about the impact that this will have on our ability to offer customers huge cost saving per ton by running container to rail distribution through the heavyweight corridor.” (The heavyweight, or heavy container, corridor was created by the City of Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach, and the State of California Department of Public Works to aid in the movement of overweight, 40-foot or larger ocean-going containers on designated City streets in and around the Port of Los Angeles.)

“Over the next five years, we plan to expand outside of California,” Smith adds. “We plan to move to strategic locations that can affect our current customers and can also help customers that we don’t currently reach. We want to find smart facilities that are strategically placed where you can get materials inbound via rail or boat but still need that last mile delivery.”

Smith believes that that the trucking industry can sometimes have a negative reputation and that people don’t think that a logistics company, such as hers, can affect the supply chain in a positive way. “We work to challenge that status quo,” she states, “we are a company that makes it simple; giving that confidence to our customers that materials can move with predictability; that it can be done with poise; that it can be done well. I look forward to seeing how the industry will progress in the future; hopefully, we can convey the message that trucking companies can be predictable, strategic, and dependable.”

“When people ask how we do that, it’s by data analysis and staying true to our values,” Smith says, in conclusion. “We believe in numbers; we believe that you can capture data and can find trends, and you can use those, strategically, to benefit your customers. So, we will focus on constant improvement and our values as a company: the well being of others, integrity, accuracy, customer focus, and constant improvement. By thinking about those five values daily throughout MHX, we believe we can change the market and support our customers to do their job with less concern around the supply chain and for less cost.”

 

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AT A GLANCE

WHO: MHX

WHAT:  A transload and transportation company

WHERE: Headquarters in Carson, California

WEBSITE: Visit Website

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December 2018 issue cover of Business View Magazine, featuring Xymogen.

December 2018 Issue

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