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12/4/2013 4:30:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Arkansas Best Plans to Cut 30 Terminals

ABF Freight System

Arkansas Best Corp.’s ABF Freight System unit announced plans to cut 30 of its 277 service centers as part of an effort to improve overall service.

In a Dec. 4 regulatory filing, the company said its less-than-truckload unit already has closed eight terminals, and operations at 22 will be consolidated into nearby facilities.

The regulatory filing said that the move, formally known as a change of operations, “will result in improved transit times for customers, enhanced operational efficiency and greater density in the carrier’s less-than-truckload freight network. The company will continue to directly serve customers in all the markets it currently serves.”

The action came barely a month after ABF’s Teamsters ratified a new contract after nearly a year of talks. During negotiations, Arkansas Best said it needed to increase system efficiency. After the agreement was signed, the company said the contract would lower costs by at least $55 million annually.

“The proposed change is part of an ongoing, dynamic network analysis that was initiated in 2013 along with other efforts at ABF Freight to return the company to sustained, historic profitability,” the filing said.

Arkansas Best spokeswoman Kathy Fieweger told Transport Topics the cuts will affect about 100 employees. All but seven of the workers will have the opportunity to transfer to other facilities.

Arkansas Best asked the Teamsters for a hearing next month to discuss the changes. When 2013 began, ABF had 277 terminals.

Arkansas Best Corp. ranks No. 12 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.

By Rip Watson
Senior Reporter

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