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For better or worse, for richer or poorer Transit Group has completed the acquisition of Priority Transportation, a privately held truckload carrier headquartered in Olive Branch, Miss. This is Transit Group's twelfth acquisition since the company began consolidating trucking companies in 1997. Priority Transportation, operating a fleet of about 150 power units and 400 trailers from its suburban Memphis,

For better or worse, for richer or poorer Transit Group has completed the acquisition of Priority Transportation, a privately held truckload carrier headquartered in Olive Branch, Miss. This is Transit Group's twelfth acquisition since the company began consolidating trucking companies in 1997. Priority Transportation, operating a fleet of about 150 power units and 400 trailers from its suburban Memphis, Tenn., location, provides nationwide service to a variety of customers, including those in the electronics and computer components industries. AAA has chosen Penske Truck Rental as one of two preferred providers for consumer truck rentals, giving the 37-million members special discounts, according to a Penske announcement. Penske's truck leasing arm also announced it would acquire the assets of GMI Rental and Lease, a utility truck rental company in Waukesha, Wis. Included are some 200 specialized utility vehicles and 42 agent locations throughout the country.

Transervice Logistics has signed a dedicated contract carriage with Kroger Stores. The operation delivers products to Kroger stores in Indiana as well as parts of Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky.

CBL Trucking and its 375 Teamster employees have agreed to a five-year contract.

Service guarantees Beginning last month, Con-Way Transportation Services (CTS) began offering customers a new service option that guarantees delivery by a certain transit time schedule or there will be no charge. Called CON-WAY Guaranteed!, the new service offers an automatic 100% delivery guarantee. The premium service will cost 20% more than regular base rates. Determination of on-time service performance will be based on the standard transit time published in the CON-WAY Internet Web site (www.con-way.com) on the day the shipment is tendered. If CON-WAY does not deliver the freight within the standard time, an invoice will be issued with a $0.00 balance.

Similarly, in response to a growing need for quicker delivery than ground transit can provide, Roadway Express has expanded its Time-Critical Service to include an air transportation option. This new service offers customers who need extra-fast shipping solutions guaranteed, next-day delivery via air anywhere within the 50 states. Other Time-Critical Service air options include second-day and third-day delivery. All Roadway Time-Critical Services are guaranteed 100% on time or the shipment is free - customers do not have to file a claim, they are simply not invoiced. Roadway customers can now request a shipment pickup from the convenience of their desktop computers. The motor carrier's new online service enhances its wide array of business-to-business, e-commerce solutions and is available to U.S. shippers via its Web site (www.roadway.com) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

American Freightways Corp. took the wraps off American Flyer, a new extended-reach, all-points service. The service, which is scheduled and direct, was created by the successful reconfiguration of the carrier's linehaul operations in two phases: regional in late 1996 and interregional in January of this year. This aggressive service is described as the company's standard less-than-truckload product, not an extra-cost service. The majority of regional service standards within 500 miles call for next-day delivery, and some reach as far as 600 miles. The majority of interregional service standards within 1,500 miles call for second-day delivery, with some extending as far as 1,600 miles. Operating since January, American Flyer's on-time performance has been 96% system-wide.

After a recent series of operational service realignments and division appointments, Consolidated Freightways (CF) has completed the final phase of its massive network redesign, which began in 1995. Through terminal and operations changes, CF has redesigned its network from a spoke-and-hub system to a direct-loading operation. "Over the past few years our evolving roster of metro terminals and our growing sleeper-team linehaul network has led to the creation of the industry-leading CF PrimeTime Air expedited service," says Tom Paulsen, senior vp-operations. "CF is also now well positioned to continue expanding our service in regional, intermediate lengths of haul around the country, and particularly in the busy Central and Eastern regions," Paulsen says.

Highway heroes Goodyear announced the 12 regional finalists for its 1998 National Highway Hero award: Larry Miller, Tucson; Lynn Tracey, Chilliwack, British Columbia; Paul Ostoich, Cottonwood, Calif.; Gilles Heroux, Maranja, Fla.; Kelly Pate, Evansville, Ind.; William Basner II, Harbor Beach, Mich.; Wayne Carpenter, Keene, N.H.; Jamie Pritchard, Elk Park, N.C.; Michael Thatcher, Stillwater, Okla.; Mark Savarie/Michael Asselin, Markstay, Ont.; and James Rowlett, Sandyville, W. Va.

Four finalists will be Goodyear's guests for an all-expenses paid trip to the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, and to Nashville, where the winner will be announced.

Working on the railroad As it nears completion of its t akeover of Conrail tracks, freight-rail hauler CSX Transportation Inc. is installing a local marketing unit to expand its business base in the Capital Region. CSXT has a better system for handling freight traffic moving from Southern states to the North than Conrail did, according to James A. Howarth, the new vice president of Northeast commercial operations. That positions Albany, N.Y., as a logical rail terminus serving, for example, auto plants in the Midwest and paper mills in the South. CSXT, a unit of Richmond, Va.-based CSX Corp., will compete with longhaul trucking companies.

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