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Forward Air adds another LTL terminal outside of airport network

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania terminal latest in LTL expansion

Forward expands traditional LTL service (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Making good on a promise to add a “handful” of traditional less-than-truckload (LTL) terminals to the network this year, Forward Air (NASDAQ: FWRD) announced Monday that it has rolled out expedited service in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The Greeneville, Tennessee-based company cited past success using a local partner in the area as a reason for selecting the site to expand its LTL footprint outside of its historical airport-to-airport network.

“As we continue to expand our service offering beyond our current airport-to-airport footprint, Bethlehem is a strategic location that supports future growth. At the same time, we can support our Philadelphia operations and increase our coverage in Pennsylvania,” said Chairman, President and CEO Tom Schmitt.

The Bethlehem terminal connects to Forward’s national network of services, which in addition to LTL, include truckload, intermodal drayage and final-mile delivery.

Forward first announced plans to provide traditional LTL service in July, adding the offering out of its final-mile facility in Savannah, Georgia. The same month, the company announced a $40 million project designed to increase capacity by 30% at its national LTL hub in Columbus, Ohio. In September, Forward added terminals in Columbia, Missouri, and Roanoke, Virginia, to the LTL lineup.

The plan is to leverage the company’s current facility network, which has suffered from freight declines at the airlines during the pandemic, to increase its $700 million share of the $40 billion LTL industry.

In addition to expanding the LTL network, Forward has been actively growing the platform through acquisition. Recent deals include the purchase of intermodal drayage provider Value Logistics and final-mile carrier CLW Delivery.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.