They might not give you a map like that other AAA, but AAA Cooper Transportation can freight your cargo from point A to point B. A non-union regional less-than-truckload (LTL) freight hauler, AAA Cooper (ACT) operates in a dozen southeastern US states, as well as Puerto Rico; it also maintains facilities in Chicago, and a few other industrial crossroads. (LTL carriers combine freight from multiple shippers into a single truckload.) ACT operates about 80 terminals and a fleet of approximately 2,000 tractors and 6,500 trailers. ACT also offers freight brokerage services and dedicated contract carriage. Chairman and CEO Mack Dove owns the company, which was founded by his father in 1955.
When it comes to growth strategies for truckers, service geography and cooperative relationships rule the road. ACT's market reach is extended through tie-ups, including transport and supply chain management giant Vitran Express and New England Motor Freight, which use partner carrier services to help in transferring their own customers' freight. (Interdependence is further accommodated through the use of standardized containers that can be carried by different truckers, as well as by both truck and rail.) Other partner carriers include Manitoulin Transport (servicing Canada) and Midwest Motor Express. Outside of the southeastern US, Puerto Rico, and Chicago, the company operates terminals in Alaska, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Minneapolis, as well as Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
Due to the economic slowdown (which severely depressed transport volumes) and rising fuel and labor costs, the company passed their impact along to its customers in 2010 through a general rate increase of about 6%, despite objections. Continuing this trend in 2011, ACT increased fees for its Terminal Pallet Rate program (for intra-terminal transport). In addition to financial travails, ACT is exposed to federal regulations that squeeze capacity maximums, as well as to weather disruptions -- such as hurricanes and tornadoes.