Forward Air to offer traditional less-than-truckload service

Forward Air truck at United cargo facility

Forward Air (NASDAQ: FWRD), recently rebranded Forward, announced that it will now offer a traditional less-than-truckload (LTL) service.

The Greeneville, Tennessee-based trucking company said that Forward LTL will provide LTL service, operating out of the company’s final mile facility in Savannah, Georgia. The company will assess the need for a separate LTL facility based on the success of the launch.

Forward has historically specialized in the movement of airfreight by ground through scheduled and expedited LTL service for airlines and cargo carriers as well as freight forwarders. The company runs linehaul service from its terminals that are located in or around major airports.

This will be the company’s first LTL offering outside of its normal airport network.

“This is an exciting time at Forward as we continue to flex our muscles. Savannah marks the first time that we have expanded our LTL network beyond our current airport-to-airport footprint,” said Chairman, President and CEO Tom Schmitt. “We are also leveraging our Final Mile network to greatly reduce the level of investment required for this LTL expansion. Savannah is a great example of the synergies within our networks that offer opportunities for growth.”

Forward has been growing into a full supply chain solutions provider through organic initiatives and acquisitions. In 2014, the company acquired Central States Trucking. The $96 million deal provided a presence in the container and intermodal drayage market. In 2015, Forward acquired competitor Towne Air Freight for $125 million, giving it a final mile platform for home delivery of appliances and furniture. In 2019, Forward expanded its final mile operations with two all-cash acquisitions: the $27 million acquisition of FSA Logistix in March; and the $57 million purchase of Linn Star Holdings.

From the press release, “With the addition of LTL, the company brings a full assortment of services to the Savannah market, including export pickup, import delivery, intermodal drayage, flatbed services and final mile delivery to bring products directly to customers’ homes.”

Shares of FWRD are flat in early trading.