December 11, 2009

Con-way Truckload to enter intermodal arena

Truckload hauler says it will launch intermodal service in 2010 on an as-yet-undisclosed traffic lane along the Eastern Seaboard.

By Mark B. Solomon

Con-way Truckload, the full-truckload subsidiary of Con-way Inc., will launch intermodal service in 2010 when it partners with a major East Coast railroad and a large shipper on an as-yet-undisclosed traffic lane along the Eastern Seaboard.

Herb Schmidt, Con-way Truckload's president, would not identify the railroad or the shipper. He told DC Velocity that negotiations were well under way and that the service's launch in 2010 is essentially a foregone conclusion.

Schmidt said Con-way Truckload was approached earlier this year by the same shipper to develop an intermodal project similar to what is now being negotiated. His company declined at the time to pursue the project, however.

Should the agreement now being negotiated mirror what had been discussed in early 2009, Con-way would commit 100 trailers a day to the railroad, Schmidt said. While he acknowledged those volume levels might seem insignificant in comparison to what truckers like J.B. Hunt Transport Services and Schneider National Inc. tender to their rail partners, he said that "it's 100 more a day than we are doing right now."

In addition, Schmidt said Con-way Truckload is in the process of equipping 2,000 of its trailers with so-called lift pads affixed to the corners of trailers to make it easier for cranes to lift equipment to and from railcars without damaging the units. "We will have 2,000 rail-capable trailers in place by the end of 2010," he said.

On Dec. 7, Con-way Truckload Regional announced it would begin regional service in 10 states already served by its national network. Those states are Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company said it will add 300 trucks to its fleet by the end of 2010 to accommodate the additional business.

In the third quarter, Con-way Truckload reported revenues of $95.7 million after the elimination of $50.6 million in so-called inter-company revenues. This compared to 2008 third-quarter revenue of $140.9 million after elimination of $42.7 million in inter-company revenues.

About the Author

Mark B. Solomon
Executive Editor - News
Mark Solomon joined DC VELOCITY as senior editor in August 2008, and was promoted to his current position on January 1, 2015. He has spent more than 30 years in the transportation, logistics and supply chain management fields as a journalist and public relations professional. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in Washington as a reporter for the Journal of Commerce, covering the aviation and trucking industries, the Department of Transportation, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, he worked for Traffic World for seven years in a similar role. From 1994 to 2008, Mr. Solomon ran Media-Based Solutions, a public relations firm based in Atlanta. He graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C.

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