Truckload giant U.S. Xpress Enterprises is expanding its regional operations in the Northeast and its custom critical or expedited business, adding drivers and equipment, U.S. Xpress President John White said.
The fourth-largest U.S. truckload carrier, privately owned U.S. Xpress is also expanding its expedited refrigerated service, using team drivers to speed produce and other temperature-controlled shipments coast-to-coast in three day. White, president of the larger enterprise’s truckload subsidiary, said U.S. Xpress has been expanding its solo-driver regional operations throughout the country, and plans to add 100 trucks to the 200 units it currently operates in the Northeast.
“I continue to see pressure on length-of-haul as customers focus on inventory levels,” White said Friday. With shippers keeping less and less inventory, “it’s more important to bring the supply chain closer to the end user and speed is critical.”
The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company’s average regional length of haul is about 440 miles, he said, compared with 1,800 miles or more for long-haul team drivers. U.S. Xpress has about 2,700 trucks in regional service out of a fleet of 5,500 rigs.
In the Northeast, U.S. Xpress centers regional operations in Shippensburg, Pa., off I-81 and close to intersections with other major Interstate highways. “We started about two years ago with a strategic award from one of our larger customers.”
In the expedited market, U.S. Xpress will add about 30 straight trucks and cargo vans over the next month as it expands beyond expedited truckload freight, White said. “Our desire is to grow that to 150 to 200 trucks by the end of 2012.”
“We’ve always provided expedited with big trucks,” White said. “It’s something customers look to us for. Now we’ve secured a contract with a large customer to manage all of their expedited freight, from small shipments up to chartering planes.”
Similar to most of its competitors in the expedited market, U.S. Xpress will work with owner-operators and small fleet owners to meet demand, White said.