VOL. 114 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 7, 2000
A plan to add 52 truck docks, nearly doubling the space available to handle cargo, is proposed for the << SAIA>> Motor Freight Line terminal at 3400 Millbranch Road
Saia terminal expansion
to double cargo space
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Construction has started on a project to expand and remodel Saia Motor Freight Lines Memphis terminal at 3400 Millbranch Road.
The new addition will add about 30,000 square feet of space on the end of the existing 37,000-square-foot terminal, and increase the terminals number of truck docks from 70 to 132, said Jerry L. Penland, senior project manager for Yellow Corp. and representative on the project.
Yellow Corp. owns Atlanta-based Saia, as well as several other trucking firms.
The additional truck docks will give the carrier almost twice as much space for handling cargo at the terminal, Penland said.
"Were lengthening the building by 300 feet, and this does nearly double the existing dock space," Penland said.
Plans for the project also include remodeling the terminals office space.
"The existing footprint of the office wont change," Penland said. "Were just reconfiguring some of that space for better utilization of it."
A building permit valued at $1.2 million has been issued to Birmingham, Ala.-based Charles & Vinzant Construction Co. Inc. for expansion and renovation of the Memphis terminal.
The project is expected to be completed in April, Penland said.
The Memphis terminal is the companys only facility in Memphis, and its offices house the companys local management, administrative, sales, customer service and dispatch offices.
This will be the first time the facility has been expanded in the more than 10 years Saia has been operating out of it, Penland said.
The new addition is being built on property Saia already owns. Since the new wing is being built on what was formerly parking space, the expansion also includes extending the terminals parking lot, a project that has been completed, Penland said.
The Memphis terminal has 250 spaces for parking trailers, with room for about 100 tractors.
Penland said he expected Saias business to increase somewhat once the expansion is complete; however, boosting business volume is not the main reason for the new addition.
"No doubt well have some increase in our business, but much of what were doing is being done to allow for the more efficient handling of what we already have," he said. "Right now, were operating on the eight-pound bucket theory: Weve got 10 pounds of stuff in an eight-pound bucket.
"So, although well be doubling our space, were not expecting to double our business. Were just trying to more efficiently handle what weve already got."
With the expanded facilities, the carrier also plans to add new jobs, Penland said.
Saia received a special use permit from the city in September allowing the expansion.
The Memphis/Shelby County Office of Planning and Development and Land Use Control Board also granted its approval of the project, with several conditions.
Some of those conditions include building a six-foot-tall chain link fence around the companys 19.6 acres, painting the fence that fronts Millbranch Road black to more readily match the surroundings, and adding landscaping elements.
Atlanta-based Saia is a regional carrier serving 12 Southeastern states.
According to the companys latest financial statement, revenue in the third quarter was $89.1 million, compared with $87.9 million for the same quarter in 1998.
Operating income was $4.7 million, compared with $6.7 million in the third quarter the year before. The 1999 third quarter operating ratio was 94.7, versus 92.3 in 1998.
"Saias performance remains below 1998 levels due to softer revenue in the Texas and Gulf Coast regions and increased wage and benefit expense," said A. Maurice Myers, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Yellow Corp. "However, third quarter performance strengthened compared with the second quarter performance due to better revenue trends and more effective cost management."