In an unusual alliance, 6 carriers--Averitt Express, Canadian Freightways/Epic Express, DATS Trucking, Lakeville Motor Express, Land Air Express of New England, and Pitt Ohio Express—have united to form a national freight network, effective March 1, 2008.
The new alliance, called The Reliance Network, will establish a network across North America to provide LTL, truckload and supply chain freight services, the group said.
According to Reliance, customers can now work directly with their local network member instead of managing shipments with multiple carriers for regional, national, and worldwide shipping.
Analyst Chris Brady, president of Commercial Motor Vehicle Consulting (CMVC), told FleetOwner that this type of alliance is uncommon. “People have had agreements like this, but this one is different because there are so many carriers involved in it,” he said. “Usually one or two companies align, but this is on a larger scale.’
“With the alliance, a carrier can offer their customers service beyond their operational regions,” Brady said. “They couldn’t do that before. Maybe, if it was a good customer, they may have made a deal with an outside owner-operator. But now they have a service they can go to.”
However, Brady added that the alliance might be more difficult operationally for six partners that may use different data platforms because there is so much more information to share.
“The more partners, the more likely there will be problems,” Brady said. “Success will come down to how easily they can work together.”
According to the group, benefits for customers include 100% coverage of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; more consistent transit times, convenience of working with a local transportation specialist; over 25,000 trucks and trailers; complete shipment visibility from origin to destination; secure data management, and full-service PRO number tracking, tracing and invoicing capabilities."The Reliance Network offers our customers the benefit of a single- source provider for all of their North American freight shipping needs," said Charles L. Hammel, III, Pitt Ohio president. "No matter where their freight is going, our transportation alliance is capable of adding value to our customer's supply chain through the flexible and personal service of regional carriers who, together, can provide world-class coverage across the continent."