WCM Stock in Focus | Old Dominion Freight Line: A ‘Picks and Shovels’ Play on the Rise of Ecommerce

A key focus of the WCM Quality Global Growth portfolio is to find quality global companies with durable, strengthening economic moats and corporate cultures aligned to this growth. An example of a company that demonstrates these characteristics is Old Dominion Freight Line (Old Dominion).

Founded in 1934, Old Dominion started as a single truck driving a 94-mile route in Virginia. Today, Old Dominion is now a less-than-truckload freight leader in the industry and global transportation company. What really sets the company apart from its competitors is how customers view Old Dominion as a trusted partner, and the strong competitive advantages and corporate culture the company has as a result.

Transcript

Tom Hickey (TH): Hello and welcome to the Stock in Focus with WCM Investment Management. Today, I’m talking with Brian Huerta from WCM, how are you Brian?

Brian Huerta (BH): I’m doing well, Tom.

TH: Good to speak with you. Today we’re going to be talking about a company called Old Dominion Freight Lines. Can you tell us a bit about what this company does?

BH: Old Dominion is a less-than-truckload carrier in North America, which simply means that it’s taking palletised freight and moving it from one point to another. We think it’s going to benefit from a pickup in industrial production in North America, as well as benefit from the build-out of all these warehouses and distribution centres that are out there to support e-commerce. It has the best-in-class service and are helping its customers get that freight closer to the customer.

TH: What’s the corporate culture like at the business? How does that support the competitive advantage at Old Dominion?

BH: This is a trucking company that’s ultra-focused on their customer. You see that with some of the industry-leading metrics when it comes to online performance and delivering products that are free of any damage. If you talk to its customers, they really view Old Dominion as a partner, and that comes out in the culture. Everyone is committed and held accountable to delivering really good results. I think some of it might even go back to its history of being a mostly family-owned business in rural North Carolina and developing deep customer relationships that develop and mature over time.

TH: You mentioned operating efficiency, what are some of the other competitive advantages at the business?

BH: This is a company that’s incredibly customer-centric, and it’s just well known to be a partner with its customers. It delivers industry-leading metrics, and it’s only able to achieve that by developing really strong, trusted relationships with its customers. It’s a real key source of the competitive advantages – that’s really what sets them apart versus other trucking companies in its space.

TH: Brian, thanks for joining us.

BH: Thanks for having me, Tom.

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