Joel Gard to Head ACBL’s Interchange & Logistics Business Unit

American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) last week announced the hiring of Joel Gard as senior vice president of its newly established Interchange & Logistics business unit.

With the associated realignment, ACBL is now composed of three integrated strategic business units (SBUs): Dry Cargo, Liquid Cargo and Interchange & Logistics.

A veteran of the transportation and supply chain sector, Gard brings extensive experience in building and deploying technology to enhance traditional transportation models. Reporting to ACBL CEO Mike Ellis, Gard will have P&L responsibility for the company’s Interchange & Logistics business while leading a digital transformation of the company’s logistics competencies (boat and barge optimization, network performance, dispatch operations, etc.).

“Having led successful organizations around the world, Joel is a proven leader that brings a breadth of experience from multiple transportation verticals,” Ellis said. “He is a key addition to our management team. The transformation and expansion of our Logistics & Interchange SBU allows us to orchestrate our marine assets more efficiently and further leverage our fleets and terminals network to better support our customers and external partners. We are excited to welcome Joel aboard to lead this effort.”

“America’s inland waterways system is the backbone of the country’s transportation ecosystem, moving more than $500 billion worth of critical commodities annually in the most carbon-efficient manner,” Gard said. “ACBL is a dominant force in this space, and I am thrilled to have joined the team. With a very healthy balance sheet, experienced leadership and passionate people managing one of the industry’s most expansive marine transportation networks, ACBL possesses the ingredients necessary to build upon its market leading position for years to come. I look forward to working with our team members, ownership and external partners to deliver safe, innovative marine transportation solutions to our customers while championing the marine industry, more broadly.”

Gard’s career includes stops at U.S. Xpress Inc. and Coyote Logistics, a UPS company. At U.S. Xpress, he served in a number of executive leadership positions, including chief technology officer and president of the company’s technology-enabled freight brokerage platform, Xpress Technologies. At Coyote, Gard served as senior vice president and head of Europe, leading the company’s entry and rapid scale-up in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, following various senior leadership positions within Coyote’s North American business. He holds a B.A. in economics and environmental studies from Lake Forest College and completed his MBA studies at INSEAD.