ABF kudos and ADEQ concerns

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 148 views 

The City Wire says don’t forget, as time rolls on in the slow-moving Whirlpool clean-up plan for its former Fort Smith plant site and surrounding residential neighborhood, to ask the state – yes, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality – to hold public hearings.

The Department, by its own spokesman, last week said: “…once department officials (ADEQ) review the plan and decide on a remedy, they will set up a plan and timetable for implementation. A 30-day comments period will follow during which a public hearing on the plan would be held if requested.”

The last portion of that statement gives us pause.

“..a public hearing on the plan would be held if requested.”

Quick let’s see who on the Fort Smith Board of Directors will be the first to loudly, firmly and by a resolution directed to the state ADEQ, request a public hearing on this issue.

We are waiting and watching.

There is a double-dose of good news from out on Old Greenwood Road these days as ABF Freight Systems, Inc., (we all still call them Arkansas Best Corp., from the olden days).

Seems that for the third time in the last four years, the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council has selected the Fort Smith carrier as the National Carriers of the Year award. ABF won the award, the 2013 National LTL Carrier of the Year Award.  ABF also won the honors in 2010 and 2011.


And on the heels of this industry award, the ABF folks and the local Teamsters Union has inked (or set to put it all on a contract) to continue their relationship. It seems each side gave a little to make it work. Something in this fragile economy that is truly somewhat of a modern day miracle.

Again, Congratulations to the men and women of ABF and the local Teamsters.

The big winner in all this is the economy of Fort Smith and Western Arkansas and other runs that the freight hauling company has in the United States.

All of this occurred already this year even amid shadowy  midnight fly-in with top rival executives from YRC (Yellow/Roadway) to purchase ABF, which to local officials said the freight hauler is not for sale.

The best way for ABF to continue to grow is to simply “stick to their knitting.” Such public yardsticks, like winning the National LTL Carrier Award, not only demonstrates to ABF’s customers, but other truckers across the nation, how well things are out on Old Greenwood Road.