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Becker Logistics’ acquisition of Trek Freight disclosed 3 months later

Combined company will have 160 employees, looks to add 100 more

Pictured left to right: John Andreotti, COO, Trek Freight Services; Jim Becker, CEO, Becker Logistics; Gary Bazelon, CEO, Trek Freight Services (Photo: Business Wire)

Almost three months after Becker Logistics acquired fellow suburban Chicago 3PL Trek Freight Services, they’re telling the world about it. 

Becker said Monday it completed the acquisition of Trek on the final day of 2021. 

“In my world, you do not make these announcements right away because then you allow all the headhunters to offer the brokers a job because a company is getting acquired,” CEO Jim Becker said of the delay. “Anybody can buy a company, but not everybody can transition a company.”

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

One of the features of Trek that made it an attractive acquisition candidate for Becker Logistics was that its customer mix did not have significant overlap, Becker said. The combined company will have 160 employees. 

In the prepared statement announcing the acquisition, Becker said it planned to add 100 employees in the next year. 

Becker’s primary activity is in brokering foodstuffs, the CEO said. Of the 80% of the business that is in food, about 30% of the business is in refrigerated brokering and the other 50% is dry freight. The balance of the Becker business is varied, including flatbed, LTL and intermodal. 

Becker Logistics has not been active in merger and acquisitions; its last purchase was Savage Logistics in 2017. 

But the CEO sees additional opportunities, and the company has set a goal of having revenue of $1.8 billion by 2030. Becker’s revenue was $167.2 million in 2021, up from $73 million a year earlier.

Becker said the 3PL M&A landscape is creating significant opportunities simply through the march of time. There are numerous 3PLs that began life in the early 1980s following trucking deregulation, “and these people are ready to retire.”

In the prepared statement about the merger, John Andreotti, the former COO and a principal at Trek Freight, said something similar. “Looking back, we knew we had to grow our company, but with the resources we had, our age and stage in life, we knew it was going to take far too long,” he said. “We wanted to merge with a company that would not only keep our employees but would offer an opportunity to catapult their careers.”

Becker said he has stayed out of the M&A game for the last several years because the company was still digesting the Savage acquisition and strengthening the balance sheet.

“We’ve been able to bootstrap and build up our coffers over the years and pay off the last big acquisition,” Becker said. 

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.