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Hello ArcBest, Goodbye Arkansas Best

By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
May 02, 2014

Arkansas Best Corp., parent of 90-year-old ABF Freight System (the nation’s eighth-largest LTL carrier with $1.7 billion in revenue last year) has changed its name to ArcBest Corp., effective May 1. Its stock symbol has changed from ABFS to ARCB.
 
The Fort Smith, Ark.-based freight company also unveiled a new unified logo system for its various units. It said it was trying to “strengthen its identity as a holistic provider of transportation and logistics solutions” for its wide variety of customers.
 
“This marks an exciting new era for our organization,” ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds said in a statement. “The new name, logo system and advertising campaign we are unveiling allow us to more clearly communicate our total value proposition to our customers, our employees and our shareholders through one unified identity under the ArcBest umbrella.”
 
ArcBest’s principal operating subsidiaries will continue to include ABF Freight as well as smaller units ABF Logistics, Cleveland-based Panther Premium Logistics and FleetNet America, its repair and maintenance unit based in Ohio and North Carolina.  ArcBest also has an in-house staff of information technology professionals at newly named ArcBest Technologies, formerly called Data-Tronics Corp.
 
“Our customers know our people as the most creative problem solvers in the industry, with the drive and commitment to work toward the right solutions for them day-in and day-out,” McReynolds said. “With the addition of Panther in 2012 and the formation of ABF Logistics in the summer of 2013, we have been providing customers a broad array of solutions across the supply chain spectrum for some time, and we want everyone to know that they can come to us for a variety of needs.”
 
Brad Delco, analyst with Stephens Inc., said in a research note to clients that ArcBest has been largely successful in its decade-long diversification away from a unionized LTL carrier to a transportation solutions company offering a variety of services.
 
“ARCB continues to grow its non-asset business at a fast pace and it now accounts for 27 percent of revenue,” Delco said. “We view ARCB’s diversification away from its asset-heavy LTL business as a positive that should lead to multiple expansion and better margins going forward.”
 
Delco has a new 12-month stock price target of $48 for ARCB. Its shares at press time were trading just below $40.
 
McReynolds said that the ArcBest companies are trying to work together to offer easily accessible solutions through a single point of contact as shippers increasingly seek one-stop shopping for their transportation needs.
 
“With our well-recognized brands and a strong reputation, we are uniquely positioned through our legacy core company ABF Freight and our emerging businesses to find a way to solve our customers’ challenges every single day,” she said. “Our more than 11,000 employees deliver knowledge, expertise and a can-do attitude with every shipment and supply chain solution, consumer move and vehicle repair.”

About the Author

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John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.


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Article Topics

News · LTL · ABF Freight · ArcBest · All topics

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