Trucking companies adding about 100 jobs in Portales

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior staff writer

Two trucking companies are bringing around 100 jobs to eastern New Mexico, a local economic development official said Friday.

Greatwide Logistics Inc. is beginning to operate in Portales after winning a countywide milk-hauling contract with Dairy Farmers of America, according to a news release from Roosevelt County Community Development Corp. Executive Director Greg Fisher.

The company has hired dozens of local employees and established contracts with local vendors.

Also, in the release he said Western Dairy Transport LLC, which laid off about 75 workers late last year after its milk-hauling contract with DFA expired, is branching out into new non-dairy markets.

Western is consolidating its Clovis and Portales operations in Portales and hiring workers, according to the release.

“As of now, between WDT and Greatwide, our transportation industry is already 30 percent larger than when it was at its peak in 2009,” Fisher said.

By hiring drivers and support staff, Fisher expects the two companies together to replace about 100 jobs lost in the county and add about 100 more over the next year.

Dallas-based Greatwide is operating from the DFA-owned site in the Portales Industrial Park.

Western, based in Cabool, Mo., bought a 15-acre site at the corner of U.S. 70 and N.M. 467, former home of New Mexico Machinery.

“We were fortunate to find this property at just the right time, and appreciate the help that Portales and the RCCDC provided to make sure we could operate and grow here,” said Western Chief Executive Officer David Shelton in a release.

Fisher said the company is bringing back at least 65 positions, as well as moving 65 employees from its temporary site in Curry County.

The company is expected to hire dozens more Portales workers as they expand, he said.

As for Greatwide, Fisher said it owns and operates a fleet of trucks and establishes contracts with local trucking businesses.

“Greatwide offers a unique opportunity in their training program for Portales residents who have never driven a truck to work their way up the ranks and eventually own their own small business,” Fisher said.

Along with the new jobs and millions of dollars in new payroll, he said in the release, Portales is now poised to expand in areas such as truck and tank servicing, motels, apartments and warehouses.