- Saia announced the addition of three LTL freight terminals in Kansas, the latest step in its network expansion to increase volume density and boost service.
- The carrier opened facilities in the cities of Dodge City and Hays on Monday, and it plans to debut a third in Colby in the coming weeks, according to a news release.
- Saia’s footprint has grown by five terminals in Q3 alone as the company moves to take advantage of cooling demand in the industrial real estate market. The company expects to open up to five more by the end of the year.
Saia’s LTL footprint has steadily grown to 186 terminals via a multi-pronged approach. The company’s new terminals have been supplemented by network upgrades including the growth of existing terminals, relocating terminals to larger facilities or better locations, and switching from leased to owned facilities, a spokesperson previously told Transport Dive.
A larger network offers advantages such as reduced stem miles, cost savings and even better recruitment, CEO Fritz Holzgrefe told investors last year. The company has budgeted up to $500 million in capital expenditures this year, after accelerating its net cash investments by 55% YoY in H1 to support the multi-year network buildout.
“We are proactively working to grow our network of terminals in the state and region so we are offering complete direct service,” Kevin Szydel, vice president of operations, West, said in a statement about the Kansas expansion. “Adding these three new facilities will further strengthen our service and presence for customers, providing them with increased efficiencies by reducing transit times. The terminals will give us more flexibility in our day-to-day operations.”
Saia has opened 14 terminals in the past year in a push for improved proximity to customers. Its pipeline for terminal openings carries well into 2025, as it leverages easing real estate costs, CEO Fritz Holzgrefe said on a Q2 earns call.
Saia is among a few major LTL players growing their real estate holdings to boost service. Old Dominion Freight Line is pushing forward with its own network expansion plans despite cooling LTL volumes. Knight-Swift Transportation is building out a nationwide LTL network, expecting to add hundreds of doors at nine new or existing facilities by the end of the year — and more next year, according to a Q2 earnings call.