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April 9, 2019 10:45 AM, EDT

Warehouse Operator Burris Logistics to Acquire Trinity Logistics

Merger Will Bolster Firm’s Freight Brokerage Services
Burris Logistics A Burris Freight Management truck. (Burris Freight Management)

Burris Logistics and Trinity Logistics have agreed to a merger that will combine a $3 billion refrigerated warehousing and food distribution business based in Milford, Del., with a top-ranked non-asset based freight brokerage firm less than 30 miles away in Seaford, Del.

Under terms of a deal announced April 2, officials at Burris Logistics said Trinity will take over the operations of Burris Freight Management, a division that provides freight brokerage services and specializes in handling produce shipments. The company will keep its name and operate as a new division under the Burris corporate umbrella, company officials said.

“We are pleased to welcome the team members, agents, customers and carriers of Trinity Logistics to the Burris family,” said Donnie Burris, CEO of Burris Logistics. “The strong Trinity brand will remain in place, and their team will continue to focus on providing high-quality logistics, with the additional resources of our transportation assets and supply chain solutions.”

Both companies are family-owned with Burris tracing its origin to 1925 when John Burris and his father, Edward, began hauling tomatoes from the Delmarva Peninsula into Philadelphia. Now headed by fifth-generation family members, the company operates a warehousing and distribution business stretching from Maine to Florida and as far west as Oklahoma.

Burris Logistics ranks No. 63 on the Transport Topics list of top dry storage warehousing firms with 2.7 million square feet of storage space in 13 facilities. The company recently opened its newest warehouse in McDonough, Ga., and is starting construction of another facility near downtown Philadelphia.

Ed and Deana Banning launched Trinity Transport in 1979, passing the business to their oldest son, Jeff, in 1991 and later changing the name to Trinity Logistics. The company operates five offices, along with 100 agent-owned offices in North America. It handled more than 350,000 shipments, generating gross revenue of just over $555 million, in 2018. The company ranks No. 17 on the TT list of top freight brokerage firms.

“The path to today’s announcement began with a conversation between two CEOs and good friends,” Jeff Banning said in a statement announcing the deal with Burris. “We talked about mutual goals, strengths, challenges and our desire to be good stewards of family-focused, family-run companies. As we discussed our future and common visions, it became clear that we could become a stronger, more competitive organization by joining forces.”

Nick Falk, president of Burris Freight Management, said he expects the combined operations to benefit from increased buying power, scale and advancements in supply chain technology.

“Both providers have dedicated technology teams, which will allow us to grow technology platforms to attract new customers, carriers and agents,” said Falk, who will stay on as Trinity Logistics president once the acquisition is completed later this month, according to a Trinity spokesperson.

Billy Banning, currently Trinity Logistics’ president, will shift his focus to working with the company’s independent freight agent division, the spokesperson said.

Burris Logistics

Falk

At Burris, Falk headed up a freight brokerage business that generates about $100 million in annual gross revenue and acquired Streamline Logistics, a freight brokerage firm based in Ankeny, Iowa, in May 2018.

Falk told Transport Topics that the deal with Streamline brought on some new key customers and a network of carriers that extended Burris’ reach beyond the I-95 and I-75 corridors in the eastern part of the country.

The company also expanded its brokerage services to include intermodal, less-than-truckload and home delivery.

At a dedicated facility in Oklahoma City, for example, the company is providing order fulfillment for refrigerated and frozen items, including custom curated meat selections, soups, pet food and dietary supplements and shakes, Falk said.

Falk said he is hopeful the merger with Trinity will spur more growth and allow for greater investment in technology with the goal of becoming an “end-to-end service solution” for shippers.

In addition to freight brokerage, Burris Logistics operates Burris Custom Distribution, Burris Public Refrigerated Warehousing and Honor Foods, a re-distributor of frozen, refrigerated and dry food service products.

Burris Logistics operates a fleet of about 250 tractors and 450 trailers, company officials said.