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Lazer Spot Inc. moved to expand its distribution center yard management services by purchasing assets of Mesko Spotting Service Inc., a rival company based in Allentown, Pa., for an undisclosed amount.
The deal represents the first acquisition for Lazer Spot, a company started in 1996 with a single yard tractor at a facility in Macon, Ga., and which now provides trailer spotting and yard management services at more than 400 customer sites in 37 states.
Based in Alpharetta, Ga., Lazer Spot received an equity infusion from Greenbriar Equity Group in 2015.
“This transaction marks an important milestone in Lazer Spot’s development,” CEO Adam Newsome said in a June 17 statement. “In the 23 years since our founding, we’ve grown the business from within. We’re eager to expand our footprint through this first acquisition, and use our combined resources to drive future growth.”
Newsome described Mesko as a “respected competitor” with “blue-chip customers, a strong management team and first-rate employees.” The business was founded in 1978 by Robert Mesko and has been headed by his son, Tom Mesko, since 1992.
Tom Mesko will retire from the business after a transition period, and David Bond, president of Mesko, will join Lazer Spot as executive vice president, according to the statement released by Lazer Spot.
“It has been my privilege to lead Mesko for the past 27 years, and I’m proud of the team we established,” Mesko stated. “I gave a lot of thought to passing the baton . . . and I believe this will be an excellent cultural fit as well as a strong business proposition.”
Mesko describes Lazer Spot as an industry leader in terms of investment in technology and training, adding, “I’m excited to see what the company will do in the future.”
In an interview with Transport Topics, Newsome said he is eager to integrate Mesko into Lazer Spot’s operations, and he believes that the combined companies will be stronger going forward.
The combined company will have more than 3,000 employees and operate at 420 distribution sites nationwide.
The addition of Mesko will extend Lazer Spot’s service to the state of Michigan for the first time, while also adding to its existing business in Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania, Newsome noted.
Mesko’s business also includes an on-demand service called Shuttle X in which drivers and equipment are shuttled between distribution centers with insufficient volume to require full-time drivers and dedicated equipment.
The on-demand service is offered to customers in the Allentown area and represents about 10% of Mesko’s business, according to Newsome, who said he expects to expand the service to other markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Southern California, beginning in 2020.
“It makes sense. These are major distribution hubs, and some companies are not heavy-volume guys,” Newsome explained. “We believe it’s a pretty big underserved market.”
Shippers also are under pressure to improve their loading and unloading practices as a way to secure freight hauling capacity and, Newsome said, Lazer Spot is working with its customers to improve their performance.
In a recent report by Uber Freight, drivers rated more than 145,000 facilities based on factors, such as time of day and how they are treated by distribution center personnel. Beverage companies received the highest ratings, while food and manufacturing companies had the lowest ratings. States with the highest-rated facilities were New Mexico, Maine, Washington, Minnesota and Wisconsin, while states with the lowest-rated facilities were in Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Connecticut.
Newsome said he had seen many upgrades at distribution sites over the past year, adding Wi-Fi service, for example, and offering break rooms for drivers waiting to load and unload, and he expects that trend to continue despite a loosening of capacity compared to last year.
Lazer Spot ranks No. 49 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of largest logistics companies in North America.