According to the department, the joint venture would not reduce competition among regional LTLs and could improve competition among the long-haul LTL carriers.
The regional LTL carriers that comprise the Reliance Network joint venture include Averitt Express, DATS Trucking, Lakeville Motor Express, Land Air Express of New England, Pitt Ohio Express, TransForce-owned Canadian Freightways and its sister company Epic Express.
According to the carriers, each serves a distinct geographic region in North America with insignificant overlap. In addition, each said they face competition in the regions in which they operate. Those in the joint venture, they said, would account for less than 20 percent of the LTL freight transportation business in these regional markets, and far less than 20 percent of a nationwide LTL freight transportation market.
The Reliance Network carriers requested a business review letter from the Antitrust Division expressing its enforcement intentions with respect to a proposal to engage in collaborative activity, including collective rate-making for multi-regional shipments and territorial restrictions.
The carriers believe the proposal would allow them to operate more efficiently by combining information technology, operations, sales and marketing efforts, and administration. Each member carrier will continue to operate its regional LTL business independently.
— with files from Truckinginfo.com
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