- Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings, which is slated to buy U.S. Xpress Enterprises, plans to retain the Tennessee-based carrier’s headquarters in Chattanooga, U.S. Xpress CEO and President Eric Fuller said in a letter to employees.
- The move mirrors another retention strategy: to keep the USX brand and operations intact and separate “to minimize disruptions for our driving associates, shop and office employees, and customers,” according to the letter.
- “We are pleased that U.S. Xpress will continue to have an important presence in our community,” Fuller said in the note.
With a history of keeping other brands in place, Knight-Swift is trying to overhaul the finances of a struggling company while minimizing disruption.
“Knight-Swift has a long history of retaining the separate brands and operations of the companies in its group, which all continue to serve our industry and maintain their historical locations,” a Knight-Swift announcement to employees said.
Knight-Swift Senior VP of Investor Relations Brad Stewart also told Transport Dive that they don’t have any plans at this point to make any changes to the location, and these decisions center on where employees, drivers and driver support are located.
“Generally, it's oftentimes helpful to avoid disruption to the business, to the operation, to the employees, wherever that makes sense,” he said.
The more than 102,000-square-foot building is located in the eastern part of the city along Interstate 75, and a property database lists its value as $15.1 million. It’s decorated with glass and wood with subtle references to highways and trucks, Heavy Duty Trucking reported.
Longstanding in-person office traditions have been challenged, though, due to COVID-19, including for carriers such as U.S. Xpress. According to the company, certain employees at the headquarters and other locations have been working remotely. A virtual orientation program also helps with onboarding new drivers remotely, “avoiding a majority of classroom work,” the carrier said.
In contrast, Ryder System sold its headquarters in Florida for $42 million, the company announced last month, to downsize because of remote and hybrid role changes.
U.S. Xpress posted an operating loss of $26.9 million for 2022 after it announced a restructuring plan, and it’s moving toward a $13 million settlement in a court case centered on its 2018 public offering. The financial challenges also come as demand has taken hits for carriers across the industry during peak season and into 2023.