- Old Dominion Freight Line added or expanded seven U.S. service centers over the last two quarters to provide more freight capacity, the company announced last week.
- The LTL carrier’s new or growing facilities are in Alliance, Texas; Byhalia, Miss.; Clear Lake, Iowa; Kernersville, N.C.; Marysville, Wash.; West Columbia, S.C.; and Westfield, Mass.
- Old Dominion will continue to add more centers throughout the year. Service centers in Minneapolis and Kansas City are among eight to 10 additional facilities in the works across the country in FY2022.
The LTL carrier’s growing footprint now includes 253 service centers across the continental U.S. — more than double the 117 centers the company operated twenty years ago.
"Each new and expanded facility helps to facilitate the economic growth of the local communities in which we operate while better serving our customers," said Chip Overbey, Old Dominion senior vice president of strategic planning.
Old Dominion uses a metric called "door pressure" to decide when to grow or add service centers, Dave Bates, senior vice president of operations, told Transport Dive in February 2021. Facilities are monitored with a door pressure report that shows how often loading-bay doors are opened daily and how much freight is being pushed through each service center.
Increasing door pressure indicates it’s time to add capacity, Bates said.
Beyond its new facilities, the Thomasville, North Carolina-based company’s expansions include increased hiring and additional door capacity at existing locations.
The seven facilities listed below opened or expanded in Q4 of 2021 and Q1 of 2022.
- Alliance, Texas — A 75-door facility employing 74 workers is one of four Old Dominion service centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area with a combined 587 doors. The facility serves north Texas and south Oklahoma.
- Kernersville, North Carolina — The company opened a 103-door terminal after buying the site in 2018, the Triad Business Journal reported. The facility serves the Triad area along with the Greensboro service center.
- West Columbia, South Carolina — A relocated facility near several major highways has 63 doors with space to eventually add another 50, the company said. Beyond Columbia, the service center serves as a linehaul relay point between Morristown, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Florida.
- Clear Lake, Iowa — A 32-door facility at the crossroads of Interstate 35 and Highway 18 that is located between Des Moines and Minneapolis, serving both areas.
- Marysville, Washington — Old Dominion’s 30th service center to open in the Pacific Northwest has 52 doors, with room to add nearly 80 more. The center handles agricultural shipments in the Skagit Valley and construction supplies for local builders.
- Byhalia, Mississippi — The carrier hired an additional 26 employees for its 102-door facility, which has additional room for growth, just outside of Memphis, Tennessee.
- Westfield, Massachusetts — ODFL hired 10 employees at the facility, which it expects to "dramatically improve response time to shippers in Western Massachusetts and [allow] future growth in the South Windsor, Conn. facility," according to a release.
It's unclear where all of the additional eight to 10 service centers will be located. But one will serve the south side of Minneapolis when it opens in the coming months, and another is "well underway" in Kansas City "that'll give us another additional fair amount of doors," CFO Adam Satterfield told investors on an earnings call in February.
The seven new or expanded facilities followed the recent openings of nine others in New York, Indiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Washington.
"We had a lot of irons in the fire around the country," Satterfield said on the earnings call. "Got a few others that I'd probably rather not talk about at this point. But a lot of work going on in the real estate department, that's for sure."
Old Dominion is exploring other areas where demand supports its growing service center network, as well as ways to improve its current facilities by adding doors, upgrading technology and hiring more workers.
The company constantly communicates with customers and 3PLs as it plans its expansions, Satterfield said. Old Dominion has benefited from customers placing a premium on service quality, he told investors.
"Especially as low as inventory balances are right now, shippers have got to get their product on the shelves," Satterfield said. "And so they're increasingly relying on a carrier that can give 99% on-time service performance and not have damages."
Carriers are increasingly turning to tech to better monitor their operations and guide investments.
XPO Logistics' dock management tool, Edge, generates default daily door plans, based on the average of the last five weeks of shipments that were cross-docked at the service center.
Edge's benefits include lowered dock costs through reduced travel time, a reduction in the number of handles on a given shipment and the potential for fewer damages, XPO Logistics CIO and Acting President of LTL Mario Harik told Transport Dive last month.