Trucking giant Old Dominion adds new hub to growing area freight system.

In Billings, the number of freight shipments have tripled since one of the nation’s largest trucking companies, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. bought out a Montana business five years ago.That means the freight hauler has far outgrown its in-town terminal at 4300 State Ave.So, Old Dominion — which purchased Bob’s Pickup and Delivery — is building a $7 million facility just east of South Billings Boulevard.

“It’s a great location right off I-90, right next to an exit,” said Chuck Powell, Old Dominion’s vice president for the Pacific Northwest region. His company looked for six months for suitable land along Interstate 90 before choosing the site just behind Intermountain Distributing.The Bakken oil boom has significantly boosted the trucking company’s business in Sidney and Williston, N.D., Powell said, but the growth in Billings is only partially due to oil. The difference is that Old Dominion, based in Thomasville, N.C., attracts national, as opposed to a regional, clients.

“We’re almost a $2 million company. We’re 100 times the size of Bob’s,” Powell said. “Billings also has become a bigger hub for freight moving from Minneapolis to Fargo across I-90 up to Spokane and Seattle. That business didn’t exist before with Bob’s.”Old Dominion operates 215 service centers and is the sixth-largest LTL — less than a full load — carrier in the United States.Last week, employees of Salt Lake City-based Furst Construction Co., Inc., started tilting up the terminal’s concrete walls. The new terminal will have 61 bays, more than double the current count.