- Saia plans to open four facilities in the second quarter as it aims to grow its density in existing markets, President and CEO Fritz Holzgrefe said on a recent earnings call.
- The LTL carrier has so far this year opened a terminal in LaSalle, Illinois and Parkersburg, West Virginia. It plans to open two more that service southern Georgia in late June.
- Terminal expansion is part of the carrier's strategy to boost door capacity and increase driver efficiency, both by breaking into new markets and expanding reach in areas such as Chicago and Atlanta.
For Saia, the goal of expansion is proximity to the customer.
"By opening this new terminal [in Parkersburg, West Virginia], we are now able to offer our customers more direct shipping points, along with exceptional service through increased efficiencies in our network because of faster transit times and decreased freight handling,” Vice President of Operations, East Jared Mull said in a statement.
Saia is closing in on 200 terminals nationwide after its recent expansions. The carrier plans to open up to 10 more terminals during the second half of the year.
The company's upcoming terminals in southern Georgia follow the opening of a second terminal in the market in the fourth quarter of last year. One of the goals of greater density in the region, Holzgrefe said, is to save time for drivers doing pickups and deliveries in areas like Atlanta.
"It gives you an opportunity to better utilize your original or starting assets to better service those customers," he said.
Saia and its competitors, including XPO, Old Dominion and Knight-Swift, are prioritizing terminal expansion in both new and existing markets as each works to provide faster delivery times in a competitive e-commerce market. And Saia is not alone in prioritizing terminal density around Atlanta. XPO Logistics plans to open a 97-door terminal facility in Conley, Georgia this month, in a bid to service the growing market.
"Atlanta is one of the largest LTL regions in the South, and a freight gateway into Florida,” Mario Harik, acting XPO LTL President and Chief Information Officer, said in a statement. “We’ll continue to add capacity where it will be most effective in driving efficiency, growth and returns.”