ABF Freight System announced it has implemented a regional network to facilitate next-day and second-day delivery in the Eastern United States. The Regional Performance Model (RPM) reduces transit time for nearly half the available tonnage moving within its boundaries, said ABF.
Operational procedures free resources within ABF’s national line-haul network, even though the networks operate in parallel. “Customers from Maine to South Carolina will automatically get consistent next-day and second-day service for regional freight simply by choosing ABF as their carrier,” said Bob Davidson, president and CEO. No special designations are necessary, he continued. Customers don’t have to ask for the regional service, and pricing remains at current customer pricing levels, there are no premium up-charges for the RPM service.
“We’re simply walking and chewing gum – simultaneously running regional and long-haul networks,” said Davidson. The separate over-the-road networks are invisible to customers, he emphasized. ABF will use a common pick up, delivery, sales and service capability to handle both.
ABF’s original efforts began with 13 terminals in the Northeast in 2005. The carrier expanded by another 53 terminals in April 2006 so that the RPM service now extends to a total of 66 terminals. The company has no immediate plans to expand the regional service, but a spokesman said it hasn’t ruled out other options where the timing and need is right.
ABF’s initial efforts in the region in 2005 were somewhat opportunistic. In 2004, the regional carrier Guaranteed Overnight Delivery (G.O.D.) ceased operations, shifting much of its former freight to New Penn. Earlier that same year, USF ceased operations of its Northeast regional carrier USF Red Star. At the time it blamed a unilateral job action by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters with causing irreparable loss of customers and revenue. And just two years earlier, A-P-A Trucking shut down its LTL operation in the Northeast after 50 years.
Beyond the immediate needs created by the loss of a number of Northeast regional carriers, ABF saw what it termed, “tight capacity and evolving logistical standards” were creating a market opportunity and it weighed in with its own solution.