COMPETITION WATCH: Bison adds LTL service, replaces equipment

WINNIPEG, Man. — Bison Transport says it has spent nearly $100 million in the past 18 months on equipment upgrades, expanded facilities in B.C. and Ontario and the launch of a new LTL service.

“This has been an extremely busy 18 months for us as we have invested approximately $95 million to renew our tractor and trailer fleet,” says Rob Penner, executive vice-president and COO with Bison. “We also launched a new LTL service, purchased a successful US carrier in 2011, opened a terminal in Langley, B.C., and we just purchased 19 acres in Mississauga, Ont. to construct a state-of-the-art terminal to strengthen our position in the east.”

Penner said Bison avoided layoffs during the recessions and took the opportunity during the slowdown to “evaluate every component of our business.”

He added Bison is now poised to take advantage of new opportunities.

Equipment upgrades over the past 18 months include 625 new trailers, each configured for long combination vehicle (LCV) use as well as 75 converter dollies. The company also replaced 515 EPA07 generation tractors with new trucks equipped with EPA2010 technology. The company plans to add another 100 or more units by the end of the year, Penner said.

Bison plans to complete construction on a new Mississauga terminal in 2013. It’s located near the Dixie Rd./Hwy. 401 interchange and Penner said it will become the “primary eastern Canadian hub for Bison’s growing highway and regional fleets that serve the Ontario and Quebec marketplaces.”

In western Canada, Bison has taken possession of a new truck terminal in Langley, B.C. seated on 6.5 acres of land and housing a 12,000 sq.-ft. office building and full-service maintenance shop.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Bison is getting into the LTL business. The new service was recently launched between eastern and western Canada to compliment Bison’s dry van, heated, and refrigerated truckload services. Penner said it builds on Bison’s logistics division, called Bison ABL (Asset Based Logistics).

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