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Trucking into town: Magnum Trucking breaks ground in Industrial Park

From left, Magnum Bemidji Terminal Manager Rod Hocking, Magnum Less Than Truckload Vice President James Johannesson, Zetah Construction Project Superintendent Doug Pearson, Magnum President and CEO Wayne Gadberry, Zetah Construction owner Howie Zetah, Magnum Vice President of Truckload Matt Gadberry, Magnum Business Development Manager Stan Wiens, Magnum North Region Manager Craig Mahan, and Zetah Construction Manager Tim Larson. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI—With mounds of dirt and heavy machinery in the background, civic leaders gathered Thursday to welcome regional shipping giant Magnum Trucking to Bemidji.

At a groundbreaking ceremony in the city's Industrial Park, local business and community leaders said the addition of the trucking company will be a boon to area companies.

"We cover Bemidji right now, but we have to do it out of Duluth or Minneapolis or Grand Forks," said Stan Wiens, Magnum's Business Development Manager. "Having its own terminal and its own trucks will eliminate the need for the these long routes from the other locations."

The 61,000 square-foot terminal is expected to be completed early next year and will include nine dock doors. Greater Bemidji Executive Director Dave Hengel said the project represents a $1 million investment for the area.

Magnum Trucking, which is headquartered in Fargo, N.D., is expected to open the Bemidji terminal with about four to six new employees. That number is expected to grow to 10 to 12 down the line as the new terminal becomes established.

The company transports a slew of regional products. The Bemidji location will provide "less than truckload" shipping, meaning it will offer shipping services that don't necessarily fill a whole semitrailer load. That designation allows the company to serve smaller businesses that couldn't necessarily fill an entire load.

"We'll go out during the day to maybe 10 different businesses and pick up one or two pallets from each business and then transfer those wherever they want," Wiens said.

Bemidji will mark the company's 15th terminal in the Upper Midwest, Wiens said.

The opening of the trucking terminal, is expected to even have an impact beyond bringing a handful of new jobs to Bemidji. For instance, representatives from Anderson Fabrics of Blackduck were among those who came to Thursday's groundbreaking. Anderson Fabrics Controller Tony Burlingame later said the addition of the transport company to the area will be welcome, as it adds one more transportation option local businesses can rely on.

"Other companies throughout the community and the region really benefit from having a company like Magnum," Hengel said. "While it seems like a modest development in terms of size, the impact is significant."