ArcBest Corp., the parent company of less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier ABF Freight System Inc., ground expedited carrier Panther, and ABF Logistics, among others, said today it will unify its sales force under the parent's name and combine ABF Logistics, Panther, and its household-goods moving operation into a new unit.
Fort Smith, Ark.-based ArcBest also took steps to distance itself from the traditional ABF name under which it has been known for most of its long history. Effective Jan. 1, all sales, marketing, pricing, customer service, and capacity sourcing functions will fall under the ArcBest brand. ABF Logistics, ABF Moving, and Panther will be consolidated under the ArcBest brand as well, though Panther will retain its name in the marketplace.
The LTL unit will continue to operate under the ABF Freight name, though its field sales activities will be combined into the single team operating under the ArcBest brand, the company said.
Under the new structure, Panther and ABF Logistics sales will be joined with ABF Freight sales under the auspices of Dave Darter, ArcBest's chief sales officer. Jim Ingram will head operations for the new unit that includes ABF Logistics and Panther. Both executives will report to Judy R. McReynolds, ArcBest's chairman, president, and CEO. Tim Thorne, ABF Freight's president, will remain in his current role, the company said.
In an internal memo to employees released by the company, McReynolds said the moves create a single logistics company that can provide one-source supply chain management solutions. "Shippers have many choices for logistics services, and we must differentiate ArcBest from the crowded field" of competitors, she said. "Our customers are asking us to do this, and we are responding."
The company said it expects to reduce pre-tax operating costs by an annualized $15 million through the consolidation of certain systems and facilities, among other cost savings. About 130 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the re-alignment, the company said.