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Roy Slagle President & CEO. About Me. Originally from Ohio Over 37 Years with ABF Freight Spent Formative Years in the Field Local Terminal Operations Branch Manager Regional Training Specialist Regional VP - Sales The Last 18 Years at Corporate VP – Administration & Treasurer

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Roy Slagle

President & CEO


About Me

  • Originally from Ohio
  • Over 37 Years with ABF Freight
  • Spent Formative Years in the Field
    • Local Terminal Operations
    • Branch Manager
    • Regional Training Specialist
    • Regional VP - Sales
  • The Last 18 Years at Corporate
    • VP – Administration & Treasurer
    • Sr. VP – Sales and Marketing
    • President & CEO

The Industry Before Deregulation

  • Fragmented with Thousands of Smaller Carriers
  • Rates and Lanes Were Regulated by the ICC
  • Geographic Expansion Was Dependent Upon Acquiring Operating Authority
  • “LTL” and “Truckload” Didn’t Exist as We Know It Today
  • Most Companies were Unionized

The Industry After Deregulation

  • Motor Carrier Act of 1980
      • Opened Carriers Up to Market Forces
  • Many Carriers Didn’t Know How to Operate in a Free Market
  • ABF’s Strategy was to Expand Nationally
      • Expanded Coast-to-Coast
      • Built a Sophisticated Costing Model
      • Maintained Pricing Discipline
  • Thousands of Carriers Failed
  • Truckload and Other Segments Were Born

The Industry: 1964

  • Most Trucking Companies were Unionized Under the IBT
  • January 15, 1964: First NMFA Signed in Chicago
  • Over 450,000 Road and Local Cartage Drivers Covered Under New Agreement
  • Seen as James R. Hoffa’s Crowning Achievement as President of the IBT
  • Interstate Highway System Developed
    • Higher Speeds
    • Faster Equipment
    • Increased Hauling Capabilities

ABF Freight: 1964

  • March 1964, ABF purchases 100 trailers – and placed orders for 60 new power units
  • Cutting edge technology – 8-column punch cards used in an IBM 1401 w/12K Memory
  • ABF was a $32 million-a-year operation withsix acquisitions in the 60s
  • In 1966 Robert A. Young, Jr. became chairman of the newly formed parent company – Arkansas Best Corporation
  • By the late 60s, ABF Freight covered 12,500 route miles over 14 states
  • ABF Strategy – Creative growth with managed costs
    • “The creative ability of ABF people will continue to be the decisive factor.” J.B. Speed, Director of Terminals January 1966
    • “If you don't watch your costs, you can run up and down the highway with full loads and still go broke.”H.L. Hembree, Finance Director

The Industry: 1980’s

  • Adapting to Deregulation
    • Many Carriers Failed
  • Advances in Supply Chain Management were Changing the Industry
    • JIT Inventory
  • Growth in Regional Business
    • Conway Freight Started in 1983
  • The Truckload Sector Begins to Take Off
  • 3PLs Represented a Very Small Percentage of the Market

ABF Freight: 1980’s

  • After Deregulation: Adopted A Strategy to Become a National Player
    • 1979 Purchased Navajo Freight
    • 1982 Purchased East Texas Motor Freight
  • In 1986 Opening Up a Service Center Nearly Each Week
    • 249 Service Centers Then and Now
  • Primarily Focused on Becoming a Major Long Haul Carrier
  • Most Competitors Were Unionized
  • It Was a Fun Time in the Industry

The Industry Today

  • Modern Supply Chain Management Principals have Revolutionized How Business is Done
    • Example: Walmart
    • Customers Seek A Variety of Services
  • Supply Chains are Global with a Recent Trend of Near-shoring
  • Both LTL and TL Industries Have Matured
  • Most Carriers Are Nonunion
      • All Have Lower Cost Structures
      • Greater Flexibility
  • 3PLs Are A Dominant Force in the Market
  • Technology Plays a Crucial Role
  • Focus on Environmental Sustainability

Growth and 3PLs in the Industry Today

  • Economic growth in the U.S. is expected to remain steady at approximately 2% over the next decade. While we’ve emerged from a recession period, the economy is has not returned to an easy growth period like we saw from 1996-2007.
  • Growth in this economy must be strategic
  • Customers continue to look for costsavings in their supply chains and lookto 3PLs to provide
  • Companies must be agile in creatively meeting customer needs without increasing costs
  • 92% viewed their relationship with their 3PL as important or strategic. Shippers look for industry experience (48%) and continuous improvement (55%) from their logistics partners. And, 73% of 3PL Users believe they are in a more collaborative relationship with their provider than three years ago. Overall 86% of shippers believe they have a successful relationship with their 3PL.
  • Source: 2014 18th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study

ABF Freight System Inc. Today

  • 90 Years Strong
  • One of the Nation’s Largest LTL Carriers
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Approx. 11,000 Full-Time Employees
  • 2013 Revenues of $1.7 Billion
  • Leader in Safety & Cargo Claims Prevention
  • One of the Few Remaining Union Carriers
  • One of the Nation’s Largest LTL Carriers
  • Expanding Services Portfolio

ABF Capabilities


National & Regional LTL – Reliable next-day and second-day delivery brings ABF Freight’s long-haul quality to the short-haul market.

Time Critical & Expedited – Guaranteed expedited and time critical shipping. Same day, next day, second day. Air or ground.

White Glove – Custom delivery services for shipments that require inside delivery, setup and assembly.

Trade Show – Personalized service on the exhibit floor to assist customers, coordinate move-in delivery and move-out loading.

Mobile Containers & Flatbed −ABF Freight was one of the first carriers to provide innovative ReloCubes and a network of flatbed equipment for convenient flatbed pickup and delivery.


Global – Providing ocean FCL and LCL services, ABF Global offers worldwide visibility from start to finish.

Supply Chain Solutions – World-class, fully integrated TMS and WMS systems with fulfillment services complete with over 80 warehouses throughout the U.S.

Multimodal – Truckload and intermodal logistics simplified with one phone call or online quote, saving you time and money.

ABF Logistics Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corporation and a sister company to ABF Freight System Inc.


How is ABF Freight Perceived in the Market?

  • ABF Freight is consistently recognized as a premium service carrier that charges competitive prices.

How Do ABF’s Freight & Logistics Services Work Together?

  • An End-to-End Solution
    • Example: Fitness Equipment Customer
  • Customers are Serviced by One Business Enterprise
    • Seamless Visibility
    • Seamless Customer Care
    • Seamless Sales Support
    • Integrated Technology
  • Helps Customers Think Strategically
    • ABF Provides a Robust Industry Perspective and Leading-Edge Supply Chain Resources

Keys to Effective Carrier Management in Today’s Environment

  • Know Thy Customers
    • Their Businesses, Challenges and Them Personally
  • Provide Services the Customers Value
    • Invest in the Network and in People
  • Sales & Marketing Efforts are Key
    • ABF has 800+ Sales Professionals
    • Perception is Reality for the Customer
  • Know and Control Costs
    • Invest in Training, Technology, Etc.
  • Maintain Pricing Discipline
  • Be Mindful of The Corporate Culture