Arkansas Best Corp., owners of ABF Freight System Inc., announced last week their continued plans to consolidate operations to cut costs by closing 30 more service facilities, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last Wednesday. The filing said the publicly traded trucking and logistics firm had already closed eight facilities, and that when the consolidation plan is fully implemented the company will have 247 service centers, down from 277 at the beginning of the 2013.
"The proposed change is part of an ongoing, dynamic network analysis that was initiated in 2013 along with other efforts at ABF Freight to return the company to sustained, historic profitability," the company said in the filing. The company also stated it's in the process of meeting with and reviewing the proposed changes with all local unions involved, with plans for a hearing on closings sometime in "early January."
Arkansas Best has been working to return ABF Freight to greater levels of profitability. In October, the trucking company reached a five-year labor agreement with the Teamsters union and in November it reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations. Still, for the most recent nine-month period, the subsidiary's operating income "was just above break-even" according to the filing.
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