Averitt Express on Thursday, April 29, announced the launch of intermodal services as part of its full-load/volume transportation services package. The Cookeville, Tenn.-based company will provide intermodal coverage through strategic relationships with several of the nation’s leading railroads: Union Pacific and BNSF in the West, Norfolk Southern in the East and Midwest, CSX in the East and Midwest, and Florida East Coast in the states of Georgia and Florida.
Averitt’s intermodal coverage will include both container on flat car (COFC) and trailer on flat car (TOFC) services and will extend to all 48 contiguous states. Averitt’s flexible offering will involve door-to-door, ramp-to-ramp, ramp-to-door and door-to-ramp options.
Phil Pierce, the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, says Averitt’s foray into the intermodal arena is a result of market conditions and customer feedback. “In today’s marketplace shippers are thirsty for multiple modes and options that help them balance transit time and cost,” Pierce says. “We expect Averitt’s world-class intermodal service to help quench their thirst.”
Pierce says the key to the service is Averitt’s close working relationships with the railroads. “Launching a completely new mode as complex as intermodal is a major undertaking,” he says. “We wanted to make sure we did it right. We were fortunate to add to our team railroad industry veteran Chris Kilker, who has more than 40 years experience in the industry, including 30 years with a major railroad and 10 years with one of the nation’s largest truckload companies. Chris has been instrumental in helping us develop a world-class intermodal service through very close working relationships with major railroads.”
Pierce says Averitt can provide shippers with several unique benefits beyond standard, traditional intermodal services. “Working with a single provider who can handle multiple facets of your shipping saves you time, money and headaches,” he says. “Averitt can bundle our intermodal services together with our LTL, truckload, international ocean/air, warehousing, PortSide and leading-edge transportation management technology to bring shippers the ultimate value for their transportation dollar. Very few providers in the industry can do that.”
Pierce says Averitt’s LTL distribution network and 1,500-unit over-the-road fleet helps the company provide customers with operational and pricing flexibility they can’t get anywhere else. “We can react more quickly than other intermodal providers to sudden shifts — even with shipments already en route,” he says. “In terms of shipment visibility, Averitt professionals are actively involved in making certain shipments arrive on-time and intact. We stay in constant contact with our customers about shipment status. And we handle all the management — equipment reservations, pickup-and-delivery drayage, rail billing and linehaul.”