Clark County at Work: Food Express Inc.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: email@example.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: Food Express Inc. Vancouver is home to one of the company’s five fixed terminal locations in the western United States.
Owner and president: Walt Keeney.
Address: 3818 Fruit Valley Road.
What the business does: Food Express is an interstate motor carrier of bulk food commodities and dry and liquid commodities for the paper industry.
The company also operates a food-grade tank wash for interior cleaning of tank trailers. The wash rack is open to the public and is kosher certified.
How has the economy affected your business: Walt Keeney said the economic troubles have mostly affected his paper mill customers. He has lost volume because of the decline. The economy has not affected the wash rack part of the business.
Greatest challenge: Fuel prices and government regulations for the interstate trucking business.
What’s ahead: Keeney expects business to pick up as the economy improves. It has already improved since 2011, he says. Example: Keeney’s company used to haul about 22 million pounds of bakery flour per month. It lost about 10 percent in volume when the economy fell, but now volumes are nearly back to former levels. Commodities for the paper industry are growing also.
Year established in Clark County: 1988.
Employees: 40 in Vancouver area and 240 companywide.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday