International Desk

Sterling heads down under The Sterling Truck Corp. subsidiary of Freightliner Corp. has arrived in Australia. "Sterling is perfectly suited to the highly demanding Australian truck market," said Freightliner president & CEO Jim Hebe. Initially, three lines of Sterling conventional trucks in right-hand-drive versions will be sold in Australia: the LT7500, LT9500, and AT9500. All Sterlings sold there

Sterling heads down under The Sterling Truck Corp. subsidiary of Freightliner Corp. has arrived in Australia. "Sterling is perfectly suited to the highly demanding Australian truck market," said Freightliner president & CEO Jim Hebe. Initially, three lines of Sterling conventional trucks in right-hand-drive versions will be sold in Australia: the LT7500, LT9500, and AT9500. All Sterlings sold there will be made on the same production line in St. Thomas, Ontario, that produces all Sterling conventionals for North America. The trucks will be shipped down under as completed vehicles. Melbourne-based Sterling Trucks Australia will be a division of Mercedes-Benz Australia but will operate as a separate entity with its own sales, service, and dealers. The distribution network will consist of the former Ford Australia Truck dealer network. All these dealers committed to Sterling after Ford sold its heavy-truck product line to Freightliner.

ABF forges Mexico link Fort Smith, Ark.-based ABF Freight Systems Inc. has announced forming an alliance with MultiPack, one of Mexico's largest motor carriers. The arrangement will enable motor-freight and expedited-cargo services to and from virtually all points in Mexico. The new service was launched in Mexico last month via a joint announcement by ABF president & CEO David E. Stubblefield and MultiPack director general Luis Javier Barroso Acosta. "This alliance combines MultiPack's significant Mexican transportation experience and network with ABF's similar capabilities throughout the U.S. and Canada," Stubblefield stated. Together, ABF and MultiPack can move freight across the U.S.-Mexican border at six primary gateways: San Diego, Calif., Nogales, Ariz., and El Paso, Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, Tex. The carriers are posting bilingual personnel at these points, as well as at other facilities, and are providing customers with real-time shipment status information. Shippers receive a single freight bill based on a simpli fied rate structure, according to ABF, supported by both PC- and Internet-based quotation programs. In addition, payment is being accepted either in dollars or pesos. MultiPack operates 4,100 P&D units tracked and controlled by satellite from its Mexico City headquarters. The carrier also maintains its own fiber-optic communication lines within Mexico.

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