Averitt builds in-house intermodal capability
Averitt Express, a Cookesville, Tenn., over-the-road motor carrier that has expanded its logistics service portfolio in recent years, announced last week it is offering intermodal container and trailer service for its truckload customers.
Averitt has used intermodal service to supplement its long-haul trucking operation, but relied on intermodal marketing companies to reserve equipment on the railroads, coordinate transfers at rail ramps and process billing, said Phil Pierce, vice president of sales and marketing.
By directly contracting for service with the BNSF Railway, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX Transportation and Florida East Coast Railway, the motor carrier is able to provide a more competitive offering, he explained.
Averitt will offer door-to-door, ramp-to-door, ramp-to-ramp, and door-to-ramp options, with pick up and deliveries made by Averitt or railroad trucking units, depending on the location and availability of assets.
Averitt hired Chris Kilker, who has 30 years experience working for a major railroad and another 10 working for a major truckload carrier, to develop its intermodal program, the company said.
Averitt's suite of transportation services includes less-than-truckload, port drayage, near-port warehousing, and international forwarding. Earlier this month, Averitt said it had improved transit times in 14,000 lanes by re-engineering its LTL network. The trucking company estimates that about 86 million pounds of freight will benefit from direct loading and streamlining routes to avoid intermediate terminals.
Among the markets expected to receive better service are: Augusta, Georgia; Beaumont, Tyler, Waco and Lubbock, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Cookeville and Fayetteville, Tenn.; Corbin, Ky.; Darlington, S.C.; Hickory, N.C.; Jonesboro, Ark.; Meridian, Miss.; and Shenandoah, Va. Averitt said the improved network operation will result in 576,000 fewer miles driven and save about 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year.
In 2008, the company introduced a less-than-containerload service from Asia to its Memphis terminal, for onward distribution through its LTL network. ' Eric Kulisch