Highway Transport expands operations in Gulf Coast region

Oct. 30, 2020
Geismar Service Center opening expected to generate 36 jobs with an average annual salary of $55,000 over the next year
This article first appeared in the October issue of Bulk Transporter magazine.

Highway Transport recently opened a $12.5 million flagship service center in Geismar LA to serve the needs of its current and growing customers across the Gulf Coast region.

The company said the new facility also will lead to the creation of 150 local jobs.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards hailed the new facility over the summer, with Louisiana Economic Development (LED) saying the Geismar Service Center opening is expected to generate 36 jobs with an average annual salary of $55,000 over the next year.

“I am proud to share in the celebration of welcoming Highway Transport’s flagship service center to Geismar,” the Louisiana governor said. “As a key service provider to process chemical manufacturers in our state, this is the sort of investment that can only take place if our economy remains poised for continued growth and new economic wins. Highway Transport’s new facility signals that Louisiana is a key market for major bulk transportation of specialty chemicals, and we look forward to the company’s continued growth and success in our state.”

The new service center expands the chemical transportation company’s presence in the Gulf Coast, positioning Highway Transport to serve several nearby prominent and growing chemical companies in the region and safely transport their chemical products throughout the country. It is Highway Transport’s 14th service center in the United States and opens after a year-long, multi-phase project.

To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered the company incentive support that includes the Enterprise Zone Program, LED said.

“Highway Transport’s continued investment in the heart of the Capital Region’s petrochemical sector speaks to the strength of the industry and its importance to continued economic prosperity,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Highway Transport projects the center will grow to 150 jobs based out of Geismar, including 100 drivers, 20 mechanics, 20 tank wash positions and 10 office staff members.

“The growth of our Highway Transport family in Louisiana marks an important milestone for our company as we continue to focus on expanding in this region,” said Marshall Franklin, Highway Transport president and chief financial officer. “By adding a service center in Geismar, we are better positioned to serve companies in the state’s chemical corridor and beyond.

“We remain committed to providing award-winning safety and service to our customers, as well as the Geismar community, which is reflected by the environmental safety measures we took in building the facility and setting up our safety and cleaning protocols on-site.”

Geismar will serve as a central hub for Highway Transport tanker trucks and drivers as they safely transport chemicals for companies across the country. Team members and drivers located in Geismar will coordinate logistics, technology, cleaning processes and other critical operations on-site. At any given time, the facility has enough parking for up to 150 tanker trucks from the company’s fleet of more than 400 trucks taking regional and long-haul loads.

The two-story Geismar facility includes a six-bay maintenance shop, four-and-a-half-bay tank wash, multiple offices and a conference room. It also provides full amenities for Highway Transport professional drivers, including a comfortable break room to watch television and movies, Wi-Fi access, showers and more within the secure, gated facility.

“Highway Transport invested in a state-of-the-art service center, including the latest systems and technology to ensure a safe and worker-friendly environment,” said Lucian Welch, regional service center manager. “Highway Transport cares about its drivers and employees and this flagship facility was built with their safety and convenience in mind. Feedback from our drivers and team members thus far has been positive, and they know Highway Transport cares about them.”

The Geismar Service Center also houses a Highway Transport training center, the first for Gulf Coast-area drivers specifically and the company’s second in the United States. The training center will onboard professional drivers joining the company with instruction on Highway Transport’s industry-leading safety protocols that earned the company the Responsible Care Partner of the Year title in 2019.

Drivers who train at the Geismar facility may be based locally or at other regional service centers such as Lake Charles in Sulphur, Louisiana, and La Porte and Freeport in Texas.

“Geismar is central to a growing number of chemical plants, including many of Highway Transport’s customers,” said Barry Hall, managing director of tank wash services, environmental and facilities. “A service center in Geismar is beneficial for our company and our team members to continue to serve clients with a more than 98% on-time rate, while maintaining our commitment to quality and safety.

“The elite drivers joining our team are committed to this outstanding level of service that our customers know and trust, and we look forward to serving new customers in the region as well.” ■

About the Author

BT staff