LTL carrier Forward suspends service during winter storm

Snow-covered Forward Air truck.

Forward Air (NASDAQ: FWRD) — also known simply as Forward — a leading provider of ground transportation and related logistics services, has suspended operations in two cities amid a winter storm in the Plains.

The company made the announcement at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, posting on its website:

“We are experiencing winter weather in TUL [Tulsa] and have suspended local cartage [final-mile] operations due to deteriorating road conditions. All operations in the OKC [Oklahoma City] area have been suspended. We will continue to monitor the weather throughout the day and will resume full operations as soon as possible.”

The storm began in the predawn hours of Wednesday. So far, it has dumped a daily record snowfall of 3.2 inches in Oklahoma City, and a near-record daily snowfall of 2.2 inches in Tulsa — the locations of two of the company’s terminals. These amounts don’t sound like much, but the average snowfall for Feb. 5 is a fraction of what has fallen, and it’s still coming down. In addition, this is the first significant storm for the Plains this winter and temperatures were unseasonably warm prior to the storm’s arrival.

Since 1990, Forward Air has provided air freight and expedited less-than-truckload (LTL) services across North America. According to its website, the company offers surface shipping on an accelerated “time-definite” basis — delivering cargo at a specific time, but under less time-sensitive situations — supplying customers with a cost-effective, reliable alternative to air transportation.

The winter storm is spreading into the Midwest and may affect Forward Air’s operations there. Freezing rain, sleet and/or snow are possible tonight and Thursday at the company’s regional hub in Indianapolis as well as its national hub in Columbus, Ohio. Forward Air has more than 70 terminals in North America.