Conney Safety ProductsAfter taking over the chassis market, TRAC Intermodal is pooling equipment to make the pick-up and drop-off experiences more efficient for customers.

By Tim O’Connor

When people think of cargo transportation they think about big ships pulling into port, railroads crossing the countryside and semi-trucks navigating spaghetti-like highway interchanges. But between those areas lies the connective fabric that links the transportation modes together: the chassis that containers ride on as they move from ship to rail to final destination. As the cargo industry changes, TRAC Intermodal has become the largest chassis pool manager and chassis supplier in North America, making it an invaluable part of the supply chain.

IMG 4176Alpena Supply Co. distributes plumbing, heating, cooling, piping, industrial and janitorial products to portions of the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

When Michiganders want to explain where their town is located, they hold up their hand flat like a mitten and point to the spot on the hand – which is roughly the same shape as the lower peninsula of Michigan – where their town is located. For Alpena Supply Co., its three branch locations are mostly around the “fingertips” in a fresh, unspoiled portion of the state.

“We cover part of the upper peninsula as well as the lower peninsula,” President Bill Kelly explains. “We’re pretty active in close to 24 or 25 counties that we’re serving into the upper northern  part of the Lower Peninsula and the eastern side of the Upper Peninsula.” Alpena Supply’s territory extends roughly down to the knuckles on the “hand.”

Alpena Supply Co. distributes plumbing, heating, cooling, piping, industrial and janitorial products from its headquarters in Alpena, Mich., and from two other branch it has acquired and renamed Great Lakes Pipe and Supply in Petoskey and Gaylord, Mich.

Metal Working SolutionsMack W. Sorrells Co. d.b.a Metal Working Solutions’ ability to continually provide Professional Representation during changing market conditions, as well as its founder’s experience, sets it apart.
By Jim Harris 
 

Mack W. Sorrells Co. Inc. d.b.a. Metal Working Solutions, does not have an official mascot, but if the Texas-based manufacturer’s representative company did, it would be a chameleon. “I think the key to being a good rep is being adaptable,” says Mack W. Sorrells, the company’s founder and chairman. “Throughout our nearly 40 year history, we’ve been able to adapt to the ever changing requirements of our principals and to the needs of our distributors and customers.”  
 
Metal Working Solutions represents manufacturers serving all levels of the metalworking industry. Product lines represented by the company include cutting tools, work and tool holding devices, machine tool accessories, quality control gauges, coolant cleaners, coolant and fluid recycling equipment, lifting magnets and magnetic conveyors. 

Robert James Sales picRobert-James Sales Inc. maintains the country’s largest stainless steel pipe, valve and fittings inventory. 
By Alan Dorich

After more than 45 years, Robert-James Sales Inc. is known for its focus on service. “We get orders based on our reputation and our commitment to delivering the product,” President Jim Bokor says.

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Robert-James Sales offers its clients corrosion-resistant piping products, including pipes, valves, flanges and fittings. Bokor’s father and uncle, Jim Bokor Sr. and Bob Glidden, started the company in 1972.

Today, Robert-James Sales serves a clientele that largely consists of mechanical contractors, fabricators and OEMs. The younger Bokor says the company has the ability to serve those clients better than its competitors thanks to its inventory.

“We do have the largest stainless steel pipe valve and fitting inventory in the country,” he says, noting that this has earned Robert-James Sales much repeat business.

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