Page 8 - Robeson Living Fall 2018
P. 8

One Truck


                                                                    Man of the


                                                                                   By Blake Tyner

                                                                  a much-needed service for his area of North Carolina. He
                                                                  founded McLean Trucking Co. with the help of his sister,
                                                                  Clara McLean, and brother, Jim McLean. Based in Red
                                                                  Springs, North Carolina for a short time they soon moved
                                                                  to the nearby Fayetteville. They quickly built their fleet
                                                                  to five trucks, hiring drivers and allowing McLean to step
                                                                  back from driving to build the customer base.

                                                                  A lull in the economy in 1937 found it necessary for Mc-
                                                                  Lean to resume driving. It was during this time that the
            Clara sitting in the cab of a McLean Trucking, James and   idea of containerization was born. He had just arrived at
                      Malcom standing beside the truck            Hoboken, New Jersey to deliverer a load of cotton bales
                                                                  for shipment abroad. In later  life  McLean recalled  the
          “To Malcom  McLean...father  of containerisation,  whose   moment to American Shipper, a magazine:
          vision sparked a global revolution in transportation which   I had to wait most of the day to deliver the bales, sitting
          continues today, and whose vigilance  has strengthened   there in my truck, watching stevedores load other cargo.
          America in both peace and war,” read the plaque unveiled   It struck me that I was looking at a lot of wasted time and
          on the occasion of the New York-New Jersey round table   money. I watched them take each crate off a truck and slip
          honoring Malcom McLean in 1998.  Transportation Secre-  it into a sling, which would then lift the crate into the hold
          tary Rodney Slater told McLean:  “You totally transformed   of the ship. Once there, every sling had to be unloaded,
          transportation and accelerated world trade with your no-  and the cargo stowed properly. The thought occurred to
          tion of the container for ship, rail, and truck transport. Your   me, as I waited around that day, that it would be easier
          moment’s  insight  enabled  trade  and  commerce  to  flow   to lift my trailer up and, without any of its contents being
          faster,  better,  and  cheaper,  not  only  for America  but  for   touched, put it on the ship.
          all nations,” In his years in business Malcom McLean has
          managed to have an almost immeasurable effect on every   This idea of easing the burden of transporting goods
          aspect of the shipping industry from trucks to trains and   stayed forefront in his mind for years to come as he was
          ships.                                                  building his trucking company.  In 1950 the McLean
                                                                  Trucking  headquarters  relocated  from Fayetteville  to
          Who was this man that so influenced the world of trans-  Winston Salem.  The Company employed 1700 workers
          portation? Malcom Purcell McLean, II was born the fourth   in 32 terminals throughout the country and was grossing
          of eight children to Malcom Purcell McLean and Almena   $12 million dollars per year. It was the largest trucking
          Currie in Maxton, North Carolina on November 14, 1913.    company in the south and the fifth largest trucking com-
          In 1931 during the height of the depression, he graduated   pany in the United States.
          from Maxton High School and was working at a gas sta-
          tion. He saved up to buy a second-hand truck went into the   Finally, in 1955 almost eighteen years after the thought
          business of hauling produce, dirt and other products for the   of container shipping enter the mind of McLean he took
          local community. McLean soon saw that he could provide   his first step in making that dream a reality.  He purchased
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13