Roadrunner Bolsters Expansion Efforts With Eight New Lanes
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Roadrunner opened eight new lanes across its network as part of a multiyear process to improve service offerings, the company announced June 20.
The Downers Grove, Ill.-based carrier had previously undergone a major restructuring to refocus on core less-than-truckload competencies with a focus on direct metro-to-metro operations. It has since worked to grow and improve its network with those plans starting to ramp up.
“Our network improvements are really going back to focusing on what Roadrunner is good at,” said Tomasz Jamroz, head of operations at Roadrunner. “We reorganized our network through a number of things that helps us create that value that we have this amazing ability to go and serve our customers between big metro markets. They’re far away from each other and we’re going to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, getting there. We are going to go direct.”
The new lanes include inbound service to Richmond, Va., from Commerce, Calif., Los Angeles and San Francisco. They also include inbound service to Las Vegas from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Jamroz noted that deciding what lanes to open and focus on is very much driven by data and customer feedback.
“We have what we call the band of engineers, which is a group of individuals that are purely focused on crunching the numbers and finding where could we be best,” Jamroz said. “That’s why we are very excited about opening more new lanes, improving transit on the ones that exist and really reorganizing the network.”
Roadrunner announced earlier in the year service into Denver from Southern California, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. The company has also announced several rounds of transit time improvements for its existing lanes over the past two years.
“[We’re] bringing something different to the market by focusing on metro areas, longhaul, running teams, going direct and using data to align new lanes or new offerings for our customers that align with that strategy,” said Lori Blaney, senior vice president of sales at Roadrunner. “The only markets that we’ll enter into or offer are lanes that will offer that unique differentiation that Roadrunner brings to the market. We’re always looking for those opportunities.”
Blaney noted the new lanes are phase one of a much larger expansion effort. The company will evaluate the growing services to ensure they meet expected standards of quality before growing out more. The company is also making plans to offer a guaranteed service.
“We’re going to pilot it over the next month and then our plan is to offer it more widely spread as a full rollout Aug. 1,” Blaney said. “We want to be able to offer a guaranteed service offering for our customers to give them that peace of mind and confidence in our service. So, we’re really excited to have that coming down the pike as well.”
Roadrunner is currently evaluating several more lanes that may be announced soon, including additional Las Vegas lanes from the South and Southeast as well as Denver lanes from the Midwest, South and Southeast. The company is also exploring cross-border operations with a growing number of its customers considering nearshoring.
“More and more of our customers have a need because they’re moving their operations both south of the border and north or the border, creating an opportunity for us that we can connect those big metro areas both within Canada and Mexico,” Jamroz said. “This is another big opportunity that we are looking and pursuing and we follow the same strategy.”
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Roadrunner has built these network investments off of the foundational approach it took when restructuring the business. The leadership streamlined the company into a stand-alone LTL carrier focused on direct metro-to-metro service to really narrow in on where it can create a niche market advantage instead of trying to grow beyond its core competencies as it did previously.
“I’ve used the phrase with our customers that we shrunk to grow, get back to basics, build the foundation, create our identity and differentiation in the marketplace, which we have very much done, and now we’re expanding off of that foundation,” Blaney said. “I hear regularly from our customers how happy they are with our service and where we’re at from a service and a product perspective. And we get asked a lot of times, I just need you to go more places.”
Roadrunner ranks No. 77 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.