Two leading truckload carriers, U.S. Xpress and CRST, have both announced recently that they will expand into the refrigerated trucking market. Both plan to use team drivers to expand their reefer fleet business. For CRST, refrigerated carriage is a new offering, while U.S. Xpress plans to almost triple the number of trucks dedicated to the refrigerated business.

In a statement, Dave Rusch, president & CEO of CRST, said the service will run coast-to-coast in two-and-a-half days at rates that are competitive with services using solo drivers. Those hauls generally take twice as long, Rusch said. Cedar Rapids-based CRST’s reefer service will be a division of CRST Expedited.

Chattanooga-based U.S. Xpress will expand its reefer fleet to 250 team trucks, up from its current fleet of 100. CEO John White told DC Velocity that the expansion will affect just a fraction of the carrier's 5,500-rig fleet. “It helps us expand our scope of services,” White said.

White said U.S. Xpress would also expand its expedited, or time-sensitive, delivery business by bringing on smaller vehicles to supplement the 53-ft. vans traditionally used for the service. The fleet plans to expand its expedited fleet from 12 trucks currently to 200 by late 2012.

The fleet also plans to add 100 trucks to its Northeast U.S. operations, which stretches from Maine to Maryland, White said. The additions will bring to 300 the number of rigs dedicated to that region.