The Pump – January 2014

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and stayed safe. It was a little weird this year with Christmas and New Year’s landing on a Wednesday. Either you were very productive those two weeks since there weren’t a lot of people distracting you, or you just scrapped them and called it vacation!

Either way back to work we go, but first let’s talk about a common occurrence this past year. On the top of my 2013 list is all of the large buyouts that happened in our industry. Let’s revisit some of them, specifically the rather hefty ones that happened in the end of the year.

Back in September the largest car hauler, Jack Cooper Transport, acquired Allied Systems Holdings for $135 million. Together they are at over 4,000 power units and revenue of $805 million. Not to be outdone, United Road Services purchased the auto transport division of Waggoners Trucking in December, which were both two of the five largest car haulers.

In the trucking industry, there was quite a flurry of activity. Heartland Express, which ranks #47 on the Transport Topics top 100 companies in 2013, bought #61 Gordon Trucking. Swift Transportation #7 bought Central Refrigerated Service. Vitran Express’ US LTL #40 was purchased by Matthew Moroun’s Central Transport, while the Canadian side of Vitran Corp. was purchased by Manitoulin Transport.

Finally in the food industry we saw Sysco Corp., which is the nation’s largest independent food distributor, acquire its largest rival in U.S. Foods. Together they have over $66 billion in sales and now over 13,000 tractors. They were #3 and #5 on Transport Topics’ Top 100 Private Carriers.

Of course companies make acquisitions constantly, but these were on a much bigger magnitude. Hopefully it’s a sign that the economy could be heading in the right direction. Looking forward to whatever 2014 will bring in this ever changing industry.

By: Conor Proud
Executive Account Manager
cproud@sokolisgroup.com

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