An Intermodal Vision From the Heartland

Inspired by the need for a sustainable shipping solution, we aim to be the nation’s leading provider of temperature-controlled intermodal transportation. We are a company formed in direct answer to the problem of reliable, asset-based capacity in long-haul transportation of perishable and temperature-sensitive goods.

Our History

With the intermodal movement of perishables being considered an opportunity due to the length of haul (> 2000 miles) and low market penetration, the business plan for Tiger Cool Express is born.

Following a thorough review of the business plan and model, Tiger Infrastructure Partners closes the deal on September 13, 2013. The name Tiger Cool Express is chosen to recognize our first investor - and their seed investor. (Julian Robertson, early hedge fund investor through his Tiger Funds.)

Kansas City is selected as HQ.


Following funding, the decision was made to acquire containers to leverage the railroad linehaul economics. In February, the first 15 of 200 containers enter service. The remainder were deployed by May.


An order for an additional 35 containers was placed in December.

Wood Creek Capital Management (now Barings) becomes the second equity investor.


500 containers are ordered.

Business continues to grow and IT platform scaled.

We celebrated our 5th anniversary in September and moved our 75,000th load in November.

We remain committed to becoming the best temperature controlled container provider in North America.

Executive Leadership

Steve Van Kirk serves as Chief Executive Officer of Tiger Cool Express.

Prior to joining TCX, Van Kirk was President of Swift Intermodal, a position he held for five years.  He also spent twelve years at Schneider National leading several commercial, logistics, and intermodal groups.  Steve’s success in transportation is rooted in his appreciation of shipper requirements, which he learned first-hand during his five years with Procter & Gamble.

Steve also served as an infantry officer in the United States Army for twelve years, attaining the rank of Major.   He had various postings around the world, and served as a West Point faculty member.

Steve is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York and holds graduate degrees from Yale University and the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.

Theodore Prince serves Tiger Cool Express as Chief Strategy Officer and is one of its co-founders. He twice was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Council and served as Intermodal Vice Chairman for four years. Prince is the past chairman of the Intermodal Association of North America and a founding board member of the Foundation for Intermodal Research and Education. He is a Founding Board member of ITI where he served as Vice­Chairman for Freight and Vice-Chairman for Research and Policy. He is a member of the Eno Transportation Foundation Board of Advisors. He brings extensive experience to Tiger Cool Express, including as Partner of Surface Intermodal Solutions, Board of Directors Member of SeaCo, President of Consolidated Chassis Management, Vice President of Intermodal and International for Kansas City Southern, and Chief Operating Officer for “K” Line America. Prince has written extensively about the intermodal industry and has published more than 300 articles and columns.

Leslie Baird serves as Chief Commercial Officer of Tiger Cool Express.

Prior to joining Tiger Cool Express team,  Mrs. Baird served as Vice President of Sales for Interstate Distributor Company for five years. While at Interstate, she was responsible for leading the commercial strategy for the Regional Dry Van, Team Expedited, Temperature Control, and Asset Lite business units. Prior to that she held a series of commercial and sales leadership roles with increasing accountabilities at several trucking companies including Arnold Transportation, Roehl Transport, Celadon, and CFI.

Steve Van Kirk Chief Executive Officer
Ted Prince Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Leslie Baird Chief Commercial Officer
SJim Hornsby serves as Chief Financial Officer for Tiger Cool Express, a post he prepared for by serving previously as Vice President and Controller for Pacer Stacktrain, and as Controller of the Highway Services and Supply Chain Divisions at Pacer International. Hornsby previously served as Controller of the Western Division of MV Transportation. He earned a Master of Science in Transportation Management from the University of Denver.
Jim Hornsby Chief Financial Officer

Our Investors



Tiger Infrastructure Partners is a middle-market private equity firm that invests in growing infrastructure platforms. The firm targets investments in communications, energy, transportation, and related sectors, primarily located in North America and Europe. Tiger Management and other sophisticated institutional investors are key investors in Tiger Infrastructure.



Barings is a $300+ billion global financial services firm dedicated to meeting the evolving investment and capital needs of our clients. We build lasting partnerships that leverage our distinctive expertise across traditional and alternative asset classes to deliver innovative solutions and exceptional service. Part of MassMutual, Barings maintains a strong global presence with over 1,800 professionals and offices in 16 countries.

Request a Quote

Unless otherwise agreed in a written agreement signed by Tiger Cool Express, freight movements and other services provided by Tiger Cool Express will be governed by the Tiger Cool Express, LLC Rules of Transportation.