Trucking M&A Activity Heads Toward Year-End Boost

Ryder Systems-Dotcom Distribution photo image By acquiring Dotcom Distribution, Ryder continues to expand its e-fulfillment network with the opportunity to add several consumer brand names and increase its national footprint. (Business Wire)

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The trucking and logistics industries could be headed for another year-end boost in merger and acquisition activity.

“We’ve still got a couple months left in this calendar year, and we’re hoping to get another couple deals potentially done,” said Jonathan Britva, principal at Republic Partners. “We have surpassed our high-water mark in terms of volume of transactions this year. We’ve surpassed the volume of deals we’ve ever done in a year already.”

Tenney Group CEO Spencer Tenney noted that carriers are interested in using acquisitions to diversify as a hedge against market volatility. He sees that they also are becoming increasingly interested in buying highly specialized smaller companies.



“They’re going to get a lot of attention if they can check those boxes,” Tenney said, “like they’re a niche expert in their vertical, they have good earnings. And even if their growth potential is not as strong, they’re going to be attractive candidates for an acquisition because of all the volatility around. So, they’re really going to shine in the 2023 market.”

Spencer Tenney

Tenney

Tenney Group currently represents 18 deals that are between $20 million and $300 million in annual revenue. The company has been closing a deal a month for the past six months, but it’s not clear how much is going to close this year since the company usually does about 60% of its total deal transaction work between September and December.

“Typically, this time of year people are trying to get deals done,” Britva said. “So, a lot of new stuff isn’t starting. But in terms of new things, we’ve got a pretty full pipeline of active engagements that we are planning to launch after the new year in 2023.

Britva

Britva

“So, we remain optimistic about 2023 and a deal environment that should hopefully be healthy. Maybe not the levels we’ve seen the last year or two, but we believe that 2023 still has strong potential.”

• Werner Enterprises Inc. announced Nov. 7 that it had signed a definitive agreement and closed on the acquisition of Reed Transport Services Inc. and RTS-TMS Inc. Both companies do business under the name ReedTMS Logistics. The deal includes all stock in the companies.

“ReedTMS Logistics further strengthens our freight brokerage capabilities,” Werner CEO Derek Leathers said. “ReedTMS will elevate our logistics portfolio with new customers by expanding and diversifying our industry verticals. This transaction continues to build upon our Werner DRIVE strategy and positions us for future profitable growth.”

ReedTMS is an asset-light logistics provider and truckload carrier based in Tampa, Fla. Its revenue was $372 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, and that includes 90% freight brokerage and 10% trucking. It has more than 800 customers.

Werner ranks No. 17 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 33 on the TT Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies.

• Forward Air Corp. announced Nov. 7 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Chickasaw Container Services Inc. as part of its growth strategy. Chickasaw Container Services is a privately held intermodal drayage provider with operating terminals in Mobile, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn.

 

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“Chickasaw Container Services boasts an experienced team and shares our commitment to precision execution,” Forward Air CEO Tom Schmitt said. “We are excited about this acquisition, as it gives us a second base of operations in Memphis and allows us to expand in the high-value Mobile market simultaneously.”

Forward Air ranks No. 27 on the for-hire TT100 and No. 1 on the air/expedited sector list.

• Ryder System Inc. announced Nov. 2 that it has acquired Dotcom Distribution. The company said the acquisition helps to further expand its e-fulfillment network. Dotcom is an omnichannel fulfillment and distribution services provider based in Edison, N.J.

“Dotcom Distribution has been doing e-fulfillment since e-commerce was still in its infancy,” Steve Sensing, president of supply chain solutions for Ryder, said. “This acquisition also affords us the opportunity to expand our e-fulfillment portfolio in new industry verticals in health, beauty and cosmetics, which is in line with our larger strategy to grow and diversify our portfolio.”

Ryder Supply Chain Solutions ranks No. 11 on the for-hire TT100.

• Echo Global Logistics Inc. announced Nov. 3 its acquisition of Chicago-based transportation broker Fastmore Logistics. The company said the deal provides it with a unique point of entry into expedited brokerage for the international freight forwarding market.

“We’re excited to continue investing in industry growth opportunities, especially since going private with the Jordan Company almost one year ago,” Echo CEO Doug Waggoner said. “This transaction allows us to expand into a new target market and build on Fastmore’s success.”

Echo Global ranks No. 20 on the logistics TT100.

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