Freight line companies are in the business of transporting cargoes from Point A to Point B and vice versa. But in the world of this movement of goods not all freight lines are alike.
Take for instance, a North Carolina-based company Old Dominion which has been in La Feria for nearly two decades. Founded in 1934, the land carrier is the nation’s second largest such company after Federal Express’s fleet of trucks.
Old Dominion is part of a business known as “less than truckload,” which means that it moves goods from Point A to numerous points rather that transporting one single item. A truck carries orders from multiple companies, businesses and even from mom-and-pop corner stores.
Jason Pettigrew, the company’s regional sales director, said the La Feria service center was expanded because business has been growing in this part of the country.
“We are the second largest line haul operation in the country,” he said. “We needed to expand here.”
Expanding to meet demand
The improvement project adds more office space, doubling the size of the warehouses while also adding 14 new doors on the loading and unloading ramps area.
Pettigrew said the service center employs 38 people and will then add more jobs as business increases. ODLFL has 233 service centers throughout the country, 20 of which are in Texas. John Stricklin, vice president for the Gulf Coast Region, said Old Dominion employs about 14,000 nationwide.
“We handle freight for all the United States, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii and Alaska,” he said. “We do big box and small business retailers, supermarket chains and manufacturers.”
For instance, San Antonio-based H-E-B is one of Dominion’s biggest Texas customers. Go Import of Hidalgo and Odessa Palms of La Feria are among the smallest companies they do business with. Hitario Morales, a marketing team member, said Old Dominion trucks go all over the Rio Grande Valley.
“This facility provides direct service to practically every city and town in the Rio Grande Valley,” he said. “We go to Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties.”
Old Dominion is along south Solis Road, a thoroughfare that looks today as a truckers’ avenue. Three other freight liners – ABF, ACT and Sala – have service centers there.
La Feria Police Chief Cesar Diaz said Solis Road is one of the roads they regularly patrol because of business activity going on there.
La Feria has some of the nation’s largest freight line carriers. That is not too bad for a city of about 7,000 people.