Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022:

70 J.B. Hunt drivers delivering wreaths for Wreaths Across America

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (CCJ Top 250, No. 3) will participate in Wreaths Across America for the ninth consecutive year. This year, 70 J.B. Hunt drivers will help 42 loads of wreaths reach their final destination at veteran cemeteries throughout the country to remember fallen veterans this holiday season.

J.B. Hunt corporate and field employees will join volunteers at Fayetteville (Arkansas) National Cemetery on Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 17, to place wreaths on the headstones. Additionally, the company will hold a support rally on Dec. 16 at its corporate headquarters in Lowell, Arkansas, with guest speaker Daniel Robinson, a Gold Star father who lost his son, Senior Chief Special Operator Heath Robinson, in Afghanistan in 2011.

Altogether, J.B. Hunt will assist in the delivery of approximately 287,000 wreaths to cemeteries nationwide, including Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dayton National Cemetery, Fayetteville National Cemetery, Georgia National Cemetery, National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, Riverside National Cemetery, Salisbury National Cemetery, San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, and Tahoma National Cemetery, among others.

A collaboration with BNSF Railway will make this year’s delivery the largest number of Intermodal loads hauled in the company’s nine-year history of supporting Wreaths Across America. J.B. Hunt has customized 12 tractors and four trailers with a military-themed wrap to participate in the deliveries.

Ryder opening new distribution center in Chicagoland

Ryder System announced Wednesday that it will open its 10th multiclient distribution center in the greater Chicago area in early January.

The nearly 550,000-square-foot facility in North Aurora, Illinois, will primarily serve shippers of consumer-packaged goods, including food and beverage, health and beauty, and household products, as well as general retail merchandise.

“The multiclient warehouse expands our footprint in a key distribution hub, which is a one- to two-day drive from about half of the U.S. population,” said Darin Cooprider, senior vice president of consumer-packaged goods for Ryder. “Chicagoland also has a dense labor force, and with other Ryder warehouse operations nearby, we can offer the flexibility customers often need to manage seasonal and market changes.”

The company plans to recruit for approximately 100 positions to support the warehouse operations. The facility will feature 54 cross-dock positions, 162 trailer stalls, access to area railroad ramps, ambient temperature controls, and food-grade certification.

Ryder currently serves nine out of the top 10 U.S. food and beverage companies. And late last year, the company announced it was adding multiclient warehousing capabilities to its service offerings with the acquisition of Midwest Warehouse & Distribution System, which primarily served consumer-packaged goods customers. With that acquisition, Ryder gained nine multiclient and eight dedicated-customer warehouses, primarily in the greater Chicago area.

“Multiclient warehouses are a great entry point for new customers looking for a 3PL provider that can scale with them as they evolve,” Cooprider added. “We can seamlessly transition customers into dedicated facilities, offer a flexible mix of transportation solutions to suit changing needs, and offer real-time visibility and collaboration technology so our customers can easily see across their end-to-end supply chains, avoid costly delays, and continually find efficiency gains.”

Mack, Volvo add another Certified EV Dealer in Canada

Surgenor Truck Group locations in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, are now both Mack Trucks and Volvo Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) Dealers, the company announced Tuesday. 

“Congratulations to Surgenor for investing in electrification and achieving EV-Certified status at both of these locations,” said Jonathan Randall, president, Mack Trucks North America. “Mack customers in Kingston and Ottawa can expect the same level of comprehensive support for EVs that they do for all Mack products. We are proud that so many of our dealers our working with us to achieve EV certification so they are ready to meet the needs of transportation as it evolves toward the future.”

Mack and Volvo dealers choosing to become EV-certified must meet stringent safety, infrastructure, charging, training and tooling requirements. Each dealer rooftop that is EV-certified also must make infrastructure changes.

“Recent Volvo VNR Electric deployments in Canada have demonstrated the effectiveness and reliability of our Class 8 battery-electric model in the extreme cold of a Canadian winter,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America. “The steady expansion of our Volvo Trucks Certified EV dealership network in Canada is a testament to increasing customer confidence to begin integrating battery-electric trucks into their fleet, so much so that dealerships like Surgenor Truck Group are certifying multiple locations at the same time to meet current demand and be prepared for a large scale-up of electromobility in the near future.” 

Surgenor Truck Group, located at 261 Binnington Ct., Kingston, has 10 technicians, two of whom are master techs and two of whom are certified EV technicians. Surgenor’s Ottawa site at 1571 Liverpool Ct., has 16 technicians, with five being master technicians and two being certified EV techs. Both locations have one service bay dedicated to battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Surgenor installed Heliox fast DC 50 kW chargers at both sites.

“Surgenor is ready and pleased to be part of the evolution of transportation toward electrification,” says Mike Gallant, general manager of Surgenor Kingston. “Many of our customers have made inquiries into electric vehicles and the LR Electric in particular, and we are excited to be leading this movement along with Mack Trucks.”