Tony Balio started Lightning Fast Freight in 1979 in Utica, New York.  It started modestly with just two trucks, but continued to grow as more Upstate New York businesses needed to be connected to the major East Coast ports.

Empire Recycling acquired Lightning Fast Freight.  The company became Empire Recycling Logistics Corporation.  Empire and Lighting Fast Freight had a longstanding relationship and  the already-present synergy was a tremendous benefit for the import/export business.

Empire Recycling Logistics Corporation changed it’s name to ERL Intermodal to better reflect the industry we serve.  This re-brand, along with our reputation of providing service that is second-to-none, put us in a good position for growth.

ERL purchased, and extensively remodeled, the former Clifford Fuel building on Railroad Street in Utica.  It is being used as  as its new headquarters.  The large lot adjacent to the building is ideal for storing chassis and containers, and it provides area for future expansion.

ERL Intermodal and Empire Recycling made an investment to convert an unused City of Utica owned property  into a consolidated trailer yard, with the capacity of holding 150 trailers, returning it back to city tax rolls.

ERL Intermodal has grown to a fleet of 52 trucks operated by ERL’s team of 63 staff members.  Our entire fleet is equipped with GPS tracking to assure overall safety, efficiency, and real-time tracking.

We look forward to the future as we expand our fleet maintenance operations, which will benefit the Empire Recycling Family of Companies, which includes Empire Recycling, ConfiData, SMR Fibre, Nathan Steel and ERC Transportation.

We continue to grow our customer-base from a variety of industries, and we’re always looking ahead for opportunities to be the carrier of choice for our customers.

“ERL Intermodal is in the driver’s seat”

Click here to read the article featured by CNY Business Journal


– Interstate Commerce Commission
  motor carrier authority

– US Customs Bonded Motor Carrier

– Cargo liability – insured at $250,000 per load


Safety of our drivers and your freight is our main priority. All drivers are required to pass drug and alcohol testing and are screened throughout the year for drug/alcohol per DOT guidelines. All drivers do a pre-trip and post-trip inspection on trucks and trailers, including tire pressure, brakes, trailer holding air, etc. And our fleet is also equipped with GPS tracking for overall safety of freight and drivers, efficiency assurance and real-time tracking.