In an unusual alliance, six 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 of this year.
Called The Reliance Network, it will provide LTL, truckload and supply chain freight services across North America. 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, points out that while there have been agreements like this before, “this one is different because there are so many carriers involved.” The alliance enables a carrier to “offer customers service beyond their operational regions,” he said.
Brady pointed out, however, 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,” he said. “Success will come down to how easily they can work together.”
Benefits cited 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 tracing, tracking and invoicing capabilities.