West Chester, PA-based LTL carrier A. Duie Pyle is planning a major expansion of its truckload operations, starting with the purchase of 50 new Freightliner Columbia long-haul tractors equipped with sleepers along with efforts to hire a corresponding number of full-time drivers by the end of the year.
Steve O'Kane, A. Duie Pyle’s president, said the carrier’s expansion move is in response to growing customer demand for truckload (TL) services and the growth plan is designed to supplement the company’s dedicated pool of more than 150 owner-operator TL drivers.
“The need for truckload services is growing, but fewer independent drivers are willing to shoulder the costs of purchasing and maintaining their own tractors,” O’Kane said.
“By investing in the in-house side of our operation, we’re increasing capacity and giving new over-the-road drivers access to our on-site driver's school, our equipment, and our infrastructure,” he added.
A. Duie Pyle’s expansion efforts dovetail with an increasing shortage of TL capacity in the U.S. According to Nashville, IN-based research firm FTR Associates, truck industry capacity is expected to remain tight through 2006 and 2007 as U.S. Class 8 capacity in use has exceeded 90% over the last nine quarters while historically averaging 88%.
“We’re forecasting total ton-miles to grow 2.1% in 2006 with the modal share for trucks expected to increase to 44.8% in 2006 and 45.3% in 2007,” said Eric Starks, FTR’s president. “Truck capacity as tight as we’ve seen in recent memory.”
For more information, go to www.pyleco.com