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Rail News: Intermodal

In memoriam: Intermodal 'founding father' and Hub Group leader Phil Yeager

Intermodal industry pioneer and founder/chairman of intermodal marketing company Hub Group Inc. Phillip Yeager died recently from complications following a heart attack. He was 80.

In 1971, Yeager founded Hub Group — which now offers intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services in the United States, Canada and Mexico — with his late wife Joyce. The two grew the company from one that started out in a windowless one-room office above a flower shop to today's publicly traded, Fortune 1000 firm with annual sales exceeding $1.6 billion. By 1985, they expanded the company to more than 25 rail locations.

"Yeager remained an active chairman, company spokesman and industry advocate up to the time of his death," Hub Group officials said in a prepared statement. "Despite his tremendous accomplishments, Yeager was a down-to-earth person who never lost the common touch. His hard work, determination and integrity have been an inspiration to everyone at Hub. He will be sorely missed."

Yeager began his transportation career in 1952 with the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he worked for 19 years and witnessed the introduction of — and helped spur the growth of — intermodal service.

He played a key role in developing the University of Denver's Intermodal Transportation Institute (ITI), which was formed in 1997, and the institute's graduate program. In 1999, he was among the first to participate in the Intermodal Founding Fathers of North America Conference, which established ITI's intermodal oral history program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/30/2008