Express carriers continue to juggle operations

Sept. 17, 2001
Heavyweight express carriers BAX Global and Airborne Express are still juggling operations in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on New York City
Heavyweight express carriers BAX Global and Airborne Express are still juggling operations in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington.

BAX Global, based in Irvine CA, said it is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and local Port Authorities to facilitate the speedy return of its aircraft fleet into its transportation network. To date, BAX Global said all of its offices, with the exception of its New York City facility, are open and processing shipments. The company added that it has heightened its security procedures and expects both its customers and partners to do the same.

BAX Global said it is also suspending all guarantees and service performance commitments until it can resume normal operations, with some services restricted due to the current crisis.

Airborne Express, based in Seattle, said it has bee relying heavily on its nationwide ground sort hub infrastructure and expanded line-haul trucking operation to move shipments, as its air fleet remains grounded per FAA orders. Though Airborne said its international operations are continuing with some delays, there are no trans-border operations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico occurring at the moment. Arkansas Best Extends Stock Conversion Deadline LTL carrier Arkansas Best Corp. has extended a previously announced stock conversion deadline to September 14 in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attack.

Prior to the call for redemption, approximately 1,390,000 shares of the preferred stock were outstanding and the deadline was set for September 11. Arkansas Best said that, as of the close of business on September 11, a total of 1,030,329 shares of the preferred stock had been surrendered for conversion into 2,616,670 shares of the company’s common stock.

As a result of the call for redemption, Arkansas Best has delisted its preferred stock – which traded under the symbol ABFSP – from the Nasdaq National Market. The company said its common stock will continue to trade on Nasdaq ABFS. Emergency logistics require emergency tactics How do you expedite emergency supplies from one end of the country to the other when the main mode of expedited transit – aircraft – is not permitted? That was the problem facing FFF Enterprises of Temecula, CA yesterday.

A biopharmaceutical distributor with one of the nation’s largest supplies of the serum albumin – used to treat burn victims – on hand, FFF had no way to get its medicine from southern California to New York because of the Federal Aviation Administration’s ban on aircraft operations.

“Normally, we would simply have sent an emergency shipment using traditional delivery methods,” explained Chris Ground, FFF’s vp-sales and marketing, in a press statement. “We could have put the albumin in East Coast hospitals by Tuesday evening, but the air traffic shutdown sent us scrambling.”

FFF said it eventually made the delivery, yesterday, with the assistance of FedEx Custom Critical. The company was able to charter a 747 airliner out of Los Angeles International Airport and obtain emergency FAA clearance.

FFF said that 4 p.m. Tuesday evening, its warehouse staff were loading a convoy of trucks with 74 pallets of albumin vials, enough for 25,000 treatments. The convoy made its way to the airport, where the medicine was transferred to the chartered jet, along with human tissue supplies from the American Red Cross and the shipment's escort, a member of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

The jet landed in Philadelphia about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday morning and trucks were delivering the albumin to 54 hospitals and burn centers in Wisconsin, Alabama, New York and the Carolinas.

“We realized the dire nature of the requests, the gravity of the situation," said Patrick Schmidt, FFF’s president and CEO. “We put the logistics together to make it work.”