- Saia opened its fifth new LTL terminal of the year, adding a facility Muncie, Indiana, the carrier announced this week.
- The new facility will enable the company to provide faster service, especially to shippers east of Indianapolis, by shortening a driver’s trip to customers’ facilities, according to Jared Mull, Saia’s VP of operations, east.
- CEO Fritz Holzgrefe outlined plans to open another two or three new terminals this year during a Q1 earnings call. The carrier is slowing its rapid footprint growth, as it warned it might in a challenging economy.
The terminal in Muncie is not a huge facility, Saia CFO Doug Col noted on the call. But the carrier expects similar benefits as with 21 it has opened elsewhere in the past two years.
Better proximity to customers, Saia’s mindset goes, enhances coverage — in this case, in Indiana and across its regional operations.
“Each new terminal opening supports our strategy of getting closer to the customer and adding value to their supply chain,” Holzgrefe said on the earnings call.
The new facility in East Central Indiana’s largest city, a regional commerce hub and home to Ball State University, will bring Saia 20% closer on average to current customers in the area, Mull said in a statement. Muncie is an important market, according to the company, where it anticipates economic growth.
Amid persistently soft demand, Saia’s LTL competitors have been split over whether to trim their 2023 capex plans after years of real estate acquisitions to chase booming demand.
Saia’s terminal expansion pipeline extends well into 2025, and offers the benefit of allowing the company to accelerate or decelerate it based on demand, Holzgrefe said on the earnings call.
Its four other new terminals so far this year are in Buford, Georgia; Kansas City, Kansas; and Morgantown and Princeton, West Virginia.