- Ashley Furniture’s transportation division is set to acquire “certain assets” from Wilson Logistics and its affiliates, the store confirmed via email.
- On November 22, Wilson and Ashley Distribution Services’ subsidiary Ashley Pacific Northwest signed a purchase agreement. This month is when it is supposed to end.
- “This acquisition is expected to expand ADS’s brokerage and distribution operations in the western United States,” said Ashley Furniture. 3,700 trailers and more than 900 tractors make up the retailer’s private fleet or ADS.
Given the severe congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, Ashley Furniture would be wise to strategically increase capacity in the western part of the United States. The West Coast headquarters of ADS Trucks is located in Redlands, California, about 80 miles outside of San Pedro Bay.
Ashley Furniture did not reveal the assets it was buying from Wilson, but the trucking company has two West Coast headquarters: one in Pacific, about a dozen miles from the Port of Tacoma, and another in Portland, Oregon, directly across the border.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a crucial tool for some shippers attempting to avoid traffic jams at ports in Southern California.
“We still use the LA and Long Beach ports for a lot of our business out of Asia, even though we have been using more ports lately. Gretchen Blough, the manager of customs brokerage at Logistics Plus, said, “We’ve been handling a lot of Seattle-Tacoma.”
Shippers have been employing this strategy for months. At TPM 2021 in March, FlexiVan CEO Ronald Widdows mentioned that some of his clients were considering using the Port of Seattle more often.
From January 1 through October, the Northwest Seaport Alliance handled 18% more imported TEUs than it did during the same period in 2020.
Widdows noted that moving freight from ports in Southern California to Washington considerably benefits inland-point intermodal transfers to the middle of the country. As of last year, the Northwest Seaport Alliance estimates that about 70% of its cargo is meant for the Midwest and is transported by rail.
Better customer service is also made possible by owning an own truck fleet. According to a recent poll by the National Private Truck Council, shippers who own private fleets indicated this as their primary reason for doing so. The research states that businesses seek to provide a distinctive value that is regularly analyzed by management and evaluated by customers.
For shippers, maintaining a private fleet can be expensive financially. Some companies may choose to convert their own fleet into a specialized service under the management of a trucking firm because trucking involves a lot of resources.
Shippers who do have internal trucking capacity, particularly large shippers, see this as a benefit. An executive from PepsiCo Foods North America, for example, emphasized Frito-Lay’s ability to send employees and follow customers around, which was a key strategy during the pandemic when consumer behavior shifted.
Minimizing expenses is another important issue. Dollar General announced in March that it planned to increase the number of its own trucks in an attempt to save transportation expenses. After the first quarter of this year, the company revealed increased carrier rates and fuel costs.
There is some overlap between capacity, cost, and customer service issues. “Those respondents who mentioned capacity explained that their private fleet provided control against capacity spikes, leverage from escalating rates, guaranteed levels of committed service, and control over the supply chain,” according to research by the National Private Truck Council.