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March 30, 2021 2:15 PM, EDT

Roadrunner Takes Major Steps in Transformation Plans

RoadrunnerRoadrunner Freight

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Roadrunner Freight took another step in its ongoing transformation with a March 25 announcement of a $50 million equity private placement and additions to its leadership team.

“Our strategy has been around focusing on our key strengths,” Roadrunner President Frank Hurst told Transport Topics. “There’s no secret that, in our past, we really drifted away from our core competencies, and a lot of work is really undoing that. When you think about the transformation that we’re talking about right now, it’s really geared around serving the lanes where we know we have a competitive advantage.”

Roadrunner in August completed a major step in its multiyear restructuring plan with the sale of three truckload businesses, a move toward becoming a stand-alone less-than-truckload company. The new equity placement opens up more opportunities, he said.

“We’re really focused on what we can do today to set us up for success in the future,” Hurst said. “Because we know that a thriving network takes a lot of investment, especially in systems, technology and people. But as many of our competitors have shown, the payoff is enormous when it’s done correctly.”

Frank Hurst

Hurst

Roadrunner anticipates investing in recruitment efforts and developing technology that underpins operations. That includes focusing on planning, pricing and efficiency. The company also intends to continue to invest in service improvements.

“We’re working right now on a linehaul network reconfiguration,” Hurst said. “It goes back to focus, to make sure that the lanes that we’re serving are going to provide the best service and best quality. We’re going to deploy technology behind that for linehaul optimization, and at the same time ensure we have pricing intelligence for the shipments that run through that network. So it’s all about technology advancement and investment in people throughout the network.”

Additions to its leadership team are also part of the plan. Former OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba and GlobalTranz founder Andrew Leto joined the board of directors, and Dave Ross has been named partner and executive vice president.

“There is something special about being part of an organization going through such radical and positive transformation as we are, and the best thing about it is that it attracts people like Andrew, Kevin and Dave,” Chris Jamroz, executive chairman at Roadrunner, told TT. “We know we are not there yet, but we know where we are going, we know what this platform can be. Andrew, Kevin and Dave, they all share the vision. I am humbled by the belief they have placed in our team.”

Leto led the equity round with an investment of $10 million, Roadrunner said. Hurst said the company hopes to leverage Leto’s insights into technology and how customers select carriers, including building linehaul and pricing intelligent tools. Shuba will utilize his operational expertise to harmonize the docks, truck cabs and corporate-level work, while Ross brings a history of industry experience that will help guide Roadrunner forward.

“We spend our time on the areas where our strengths can make the biggest impact,” Hurst said. “Then we go find the best talent in the industry to address the gaps we have. And so we’re really fortunate. We’ve added three industry veterans to our team and they hit the ground running and they’re already making a huge impact.”

Roadrunner also announced a guaranteed service offering that is designed to demonstrate to new and former customers the company’s renewed focus on its core competencies, Hurst said. The guaranteed service offering is set to take effect by the end of spring.

“We’re working on regaining our customer’s trust,” he said. “We know that some customers are still going to have a hesitation about using Roadrunner because of our past, so we feel that a guaranteed service is really the perfect way to allow customers to lean into our offer. I don’t want to just say your shipment is going to arrive on time, intact and damage-free. We want to guarantee it and I want to put my money where our mouth is.”

Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. ranks No. 20 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America.

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