Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series of stories based on an exclusive Trucking Dive interview this month with ABF Freight President Seth Runser. Want these types of stories in your inbox? Sign up for the Daily Dive — it’s free!
ABF Freight is evaluating possible property acquisitions in Yellow Corp.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy to accelerate its long-term terminal network expansion, President Seth Runser told Trucking Dive in an interview.
The chief executive of the ArcBest-owned LTL carrier doesn’t envision a massive overhaul of the company’s decade-long growth plan.
The 239-service center carrier opened a facility in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, last year; completed a dock expansion in San Antonio this year; and plans to open additional locations in Kansas City and Atlanta next year, he said.
“We’ve got a lot in the hopper on the real estate side, because we see that growth long term. ... It really gives us a chance to just add [Yellow properties] to our look of the entire real estate portfolio,” Runser said. “We've identified some properties, but we’re still going through that process right now. We just have to see how it shakes out.”
Estes Express Lines outbid Old Dominion Freight Line with a $1.525 billion stalking horse offer to set the floor valuation of Yellow’s nearly 170 properties. But other bidders could wind up buying some or all of the properties in a federal court-supervised auction scheduled for Nov. 27.
Citing non-disclosure agreements, Runser declined to say whether ABF Freight is in active discussions with Yellow or whether it has submitted offers for any of the bankrupt competitor’s terminals.
But ABF Freight has been a winner in Yellow’s demise — even before it potentially picks off any properties.
The Fort Smith, Arkansas-based carrier saw its LTL shipment count jump by 20% since June as customers fled a failing Yellow, Runser noted.
Following Yellow’s shutdown July 30 and bankruptcy filing a week later, ArcBest reported its total billed revenue per shipment improved to -5% in August year over year, an improvement from -15.7% in June and -12.5% in July, both YoY.
ArcBest will report its Q3 earnings on Friday.