WILLMAR—Over the past several years Fargo, North Dakota-based Magnum, which has had a trucking terminal in Willmar for 15 years, has seen a steady uptick in its local business. As the economy has improved, the number of companies needing shipping assistance has grown. Magnum’s business has increased so much that its building needed to grow along with it.
“We’ve grown from six routes a day to 13,” said Kerry Kummrow, Willmar terminal manager. “There was a need for more space.”
Monday marked the official first day of business for Magnum’s new terminal just off Kandiyohi County Road 5 in the Willmar Industrial Park. The new building for Magnum’s less-than-truckload operation—the shipping of smaller freight usually referred to as LTL—is nearly double the size of Magnum’s old location on Trott Avenue Southwest, offering more space for freight and trucks.
“We were landlocked there, we had nowhere to go,” Kummrow said.
Magnum found the space it needed in the Fourth Addition of the Willmar Industrial Park. The company purchased approximately seven acres from the city for the new terminal in the spring of 2017. Magnum also has first right of refusal for a second lot of about 12 acres. This land could be used for a proposed second and third phase of the expansion project, which could include warehouse space.
As an LTL shipper, Magnum fills its trucks with a vast array of products from many different businesses.
“It is basically pallet freight. Anything too big to go UPS or Spee-Dee,” Kummrow said.
While the new terminal was quiet late Monday morning, Kummrow said that is not the case late at night.
“Ninety percent of work is at night,” Kummrow said.
Overnight, Magnum’s dock workers unload the delivered freight and then break it out into separate truck routes. The drivers usually are on the road by 7 a.m.
Magnum currently employs 25 drivers and eight office and dock staff in Willmar.
“We do hope to increase that as freight grows,” Kummrow said.
The Willmar terminal makes deliveries all over the region, from Parkers Prairie to Marshall and from Milbank, South Dakota, to St. Cloud.
“We cover roughly 1,000 miles per day with all the trucks,” Kummrow said.
The trucking company ships for such businesses as Purina, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Bobcat and even Starbucks. Some of Magnum’s biggest business comes from agriculture and healthcare.
“The health industry is exploding,” Kummrow said.
Magnum also works with partner national carriers who use Magnum to make freight deliveries in smaller towns.
The LTL division is one of five that makeup Magnum, which was started by Wayne Gadberry and two others in the early 1980s in Fargo. LTL was established in 1990 and there are now 13 LTL terminals across the Upper Midwest. Kummrow said Magnum wanted to stay in Willmar due to its central location to the main terminals in Fargo, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Coon Rapids.
“We are in the sweet spot,” Kummrow said.
While Magnum considered other locations when it started planning for its expansion, it stayed in Willmar also because of good businesses already in town and the possibilities of new business relationships.
“We’re so thankful to the Gadberry family, for investing in the Willmar community and the 30 families represented here,” Kummrow said.
In addition to expanding the actual footprint of the company, Kummrow said Magnum also continues to be focused on business efficiency and safety. All of the trucks in the fleet are outfitted with front-facing cameras and other safety features to help the driver keep themselves and the public safe while out on the road.
Inside the terminal, there are also safety features and training tools, along with up-to-date scanning software for freight.
“I’m very pleased with the safety consciousness,” Kummrow said.
While there are still a few finishing touches to be made on the new terminal, Kummrow and his team are excited to have moved in and are looking forward to what the future might bring to Magnum. The hope is the business continues to grow and expand, bringing new jobs and business opportunities to the company and to Willmar.
“We really hope it all comes to be,” Kummrow said. “It is really fun to be at this point. We are on the edge of growth.”
West Central Tribune by Shelby Lindrud