Penske Logistics has reached agreement in principle to acquire Epes Transport Systems, of Greensboro, NC. The deal, expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, will add over 1,200 units to Penske Logistics.
According to a Penske Logistics spokesperson, Penske “views the acquisition as a growth opportunity as the services Epes provides will enhance its existing portfolio of transportation and logistics solutions.”
Epes employees were told of the pending acquisition on May 8. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The spokesperson said that Penske will maintain the current leadership team of Epes.
Epes, a regional dry-van truckload carrier, traces its history to 1931 in Blackstone, Va. It was family owned for over 55 years before being acquired by a new holding company called Epes Carriers in September 1987, owned by A.M. Bodford. It is the largest private trucking company in North Carolina, it says on its website.
According to the Journal of Commerce, Epes generates between $300 and $400 million in revenue per year hauling for such clients as Proctor & Gamble and Family Dollar.
Epes has operating authority in the 48 contiguous states, operating its dry van regional division primarily in southeast, southwest, midwest, northeast and Texas. It also has a dedicated division with over 50 operations in the southeast and Gulf Coast. The company operates terminals in Charlotte N.C.; Rockwall, Texas; Chester, Va.; Morristown, Tenn.; and, Valdosta, Ga., in addition to several drop yard locations.
Earlier this year, Andy Moses, senior vice president of global products for Penske Logistics, talked to FreightWaves about the growth of dedicated operations in an environment with tight capacity and high rates.
“The market is hot,” he said. “You have an improving economy, so you have increasing freight volumes [so] you have limited capacity.”
That limited capacity is also being driven by a lack of drivers, and as a result, Penske Logistics is seeing more shippers inquire about dedicated transportation. Moses explained that dedicated operations can provide more capacity and rate certainty, another issue many shippers are facing.
“Shippers are probably experiencing less reliability in getting freight off their docks,” he said. “It puts us in a position where a lot of shippers are reaching out to us.”
Penske Logistics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Truck Leasing with operations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The company provides supply chain management and logistics services.