Pilot threatens to remove TripPak boxes

| 7/2/2002

Pilot Travel Centers informed TripPak Friday, after first sending a notice to many fleets, that it has decided "unilaterally" to remove TripPak Express drop boxes unless the company agrees to pay substantial, punitive fees.

The financial demands made by Pilot would increase fleet TripPak fees by 35 to 39 percent. Mark Cleveland, TripPak's executive vice president, says they are "cautiously optimistic that Pilot will reconsider and come to accept our customer's goals."

TripPak has not asked Pilot to remove any drop boxes and is taking no action to stop service, according to a released statement. The Denver-based company says it will maintain the yellow drop box at Pilot locations as long as mutual customers want them there.

For 11 years, TripPak has provided low cost, express mail service. Express boxes can be found in more than 1,200 locations throughout the United States and Canada. None of these locations charge a fee.

Jerry Bartley with OOIDA's Business Services department says if Pilot's threat to remove the boxes is realized "it will definitely affect a guy running week-to-week and his ability to get paid. It will surely affect whether or not I want to pull into a Pilot or a TA and Petro."

--Keith Goble, staff writer