Smith Transportation Services, a company based in Sunrise, Fla., that specializes in “load-to-ride” service for shippers of less-than-truckload freight, is being purchased by a group of Smith’s top executives and the New York-based investment firm Post Capital Partners.
Under terms of the buyout, Post Capital Partners will partner with the existing management team at Smith, including president and chief operating officer Steve Smith, along with Bill Nichols, Jeff Maser and Christine Postlmayr, to acquire the business from its previous owners, who were identified only as “an individual and a family.”
Sam Woodward, a partner at Post Capital with 30 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry, will serve as a strategic adviser and member of the board of directors, company officials told Transport Topics. Woodward has previously served as CEO of Horizon Lines and Gemini Air Cargo and is a former senior vice president of operations and planning at YRC Worldwide.
Founded in 2001, Smith Transportation offers a hybrid LTL service, also called multistop truckload, in which palletized loads from multiple shippers are aggregated on a single tractor-trailer for delivery to a common destination. In contrast, LTL carriers typically consolidate small shipments into full truckloads, which are routed through one or more distribution hubs before being offloaded onto trucks for delivery at the destination location.
“Smith Transportation has a long-standing reputation of providing critical transportation solutions for its customers on a nationwide basis,” said Michael Pfeffer, managing director of Post Capital in a statement announcing the transaction on Sept. 25. “We are thrilled to partner with Steve Smith and the rest of the management team to support them as they implement growth initiatives, which include adding additional talent, expanding the company’s load-to-ride service to additional geographies and potential tuck-in acquisitions.”
Smith also welcomed the involvement of Post Capital in the business, saying the investment “will enable us to supercharge our growth, to invest in new technology and to expand our geographic footprint.”
The advantages of a load-to-ride service is faster delivery and less risk of damage from freight handling with service providers targeting transcontinental shipments and freight that moves on a regular basis over major freight routes.
Most of Smith Transportation’s business is outbound from Florida, California and the New York metropolitan area. The company maintains offices and terminals in Los Angeles; Nashville, Tenn.; Clearwater, Tampa, Miami and Medley, Fla.; plus JFK Airport in New York.
In addition to its load-ro-ride freight service, Smith Transportation provides truckload and intermodal freight brokerage services. The company says it has about 2,500 customers, but officials declined to disclose annual revenue.
Terms of the buyout were not disclosed.
Isaac Chalal, a vice president at Post Capital, said the investment in Smith Transportation reflects the firm’s “executive-first strategy.”
“In this situation,” he said, “we partnered with an extremely talented team of individuals, many of which have worked together for several years.”
Many members of the senior management team at Smith Transportation previously worked at Lakeland, Fla.-based Watkins Motor Lines, Chalal said.
Smith Transportation is the only freight carrier in the Post Capital investment portfolio, although previous investments have included vehicle transporter United Road Services and American Disposal Services.
Other holdings by Post Capital are EC Waste, a company based in Piedmont, Ala., that provides waste-hauling services in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico, and DTT Surveillance, a company that provides video surveillance and business intelligence services to retailers.