XPO recently saw a historic surge in service levels, signaling a new era for its less-than-truckload business.
With this service quality achievement, the freight giant is not just moving goods — it’s raising the bar for efficiency and customer satisfaction.
In a recent discussion with FreightWaves’ Isaiah Buchanan, Anthony Hoereth, senior vice president of sales at XPO, explained how the company has been able to reach the highest service levels in its 40-year LTL history.
In 2021, the company laid out its LTL 2.0 plan to strengthen its operations. Then, in 2022, XPO transitioned to a stand-alone North American LTL carrier, committing its entire focus to providing world-class LTL services to its customers. With this shift, XPO has seen a 35 percentage point improvement in service levels year-over-year and a 70% increase in damage-free delivery.
“As recently as November, we set a company record for damage-free delivery,” Hoereth said. “These improvements are translating into really happy customers who are giving us more business.”
To better take care of its customers’ freight, XPO has enhanced its training programs and loading procedures to equip its field operations with new service tools. For example, XPO launched a new airbag system that is driving significant improvements in damage frequency. XPO also started using high-caliber straps to better secure freight. The company also has launched new programs with its employees to ensure even better quality loading of its customers’ freight. This combination has led the company to reach new service quality records in the past year while also paving a clear runway for further service improvements across the board.
Under its LTL 2.0 strategy, XPO has been focused on preemptive investments in the network to stay ahead of customer demand. With the expansion of 10 service centers and the addition of 500 net new doors, XPO’s investments in capacity are driving the company’s improved service levels and growth. Recent investments include expansions in Garland, Texas to cater to the nearshoring trend and in Salt Lake City to support outbound shipping in the rapidly growing freight market.
XPO is also making investments to enhance its fleet. With the addition of 2,000 new tractors and 10,000 trailers — manufactured in-house at its Searcy, Arkansas, facility — the company is doubling-down on its efforts to take care of customers’ shipments with more efficiency.
“The investments in the network and the fleet are really at the core of what’s driving the service and quality improvements we’re seeing right now,” Hoereth said.
XPO’s operational excellence and new service offerings
Hoereth also shared that XPO is building out its premium service offerings as the company continues to focus on quality, on-time service performance and network investments. Notably, XPO’s “retail rollouts” service is offering dedicated support for time-sensitive retail displays, meeting the high demands of retail clients.
Additionally, XPO is launching a “must arrive by date” (MABD) service to provide tiered delivery options for retail customers, from basic transit time guarantees to dedicated shipment monitoring. This new service will ensure on-time deliveries to big box retailers, providing customers with peace of mind.
XPO has also responded to the growing need to ship heavier-weighted LTL-type shipments. As the company continues to add capacity, XPO will be better equipped to handle volume LTL shipments for its customers.
“At XPO, we’re always focused on how we can better serve our customers,” Hoereth said.
XPO’s strategic growth and market expansion
XPO is looking forward to continued strategic growth with its recent acquisition of 28 service center locations from Yellow. This move, which XPO describes as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for network expansion, will fuel the company’s next decade of growth as it focuses on providing best-in-class service to customers.
Hoereth shared that the integration of these centers is being meticulously planned to maintain XPO’s high service standards. The plan includes bringing some centers online as early as the first quarter of 2024, with most becoming operational over the year and into early 2025.
Through the acquisition, XPO gained access to service centers in prime locations that are optimally situated to serve customers. The additional locations will allow XPO to handle additional shipments more efficiently, decrease transit times in some lanes, and deliver even better service quality.
These 28 service center properties are also primed to enhance its service offerings for customers. For example, XPO will be strengthening its cross-border offerings with additional service centers in Nogales, Arizona, and Minneapolis. In Las Vegas, which is a major hub for tourism and conventions, XPO’s new location in the city will better support its trade show offering for customers.
Looking ahead, XPO’s outlook is focused on continued growth and being a great carrier partner to its customers. With a sharp focus on operational efficiency, world-class service and continued investments in the network, XPO is not only catering to evolving market demands but also paving the way for future opportunities for its customers.