Redwood Logistics announced its acquisition of Strive Logistics Monday, cementing Redwood’s place as a top-15 truck broker and an emerging multimodal logistics provider with over $1 billion in freight under management.
The acquisition gives Redwood, a leading Chicago-based brokerage and third-party logistics provider, the scale it needs to compete at the highest level.
“We think we’ve probably now achieved critical mass on the brokerage side,” Redwood President Todd Berger said. “It allows us to provide a very competitive offering and additional value to customers and our partners.”
Strive, a provider of non-asset multimodal and third-party logistics solutions, has been an established and growing logistics leader for the past 20 years.
“A great way for a company to grow quickly is to make acquisitions,” FreightWaves’ Director of Freight Intelligence Zach Strickland said. “This particular acquisition is solid because it combines the wisdom of an experienced company with the flexibility of a younger company.”
LoadRunner, Strive’s proprietary transportation management system (TMS) and its focus on automation combine with Redwood’s scale and integrated model to create a best-in-class logistics offering.
“When you look at it, the combined entity is not just bigger, it’s better in fundamental ways that are really exciting,” Redwood CEO Mark Yeager said. “It’s a bigger customer base. It is a bigger carrier base. Collectively, we’re much stronger in the technology department. It hits on all cylinders.”
LoadRunner, as well as Strive’s technologically savvy pricing and digital freight matching tools, played a big role in Redwood’s decision to acquire the company.
“They have been very forward-thinking on attacking the pain points within the brokerage operation,” Yeager said. “With LoadRunner, they’ve taken a really thoughtful approach to designing something specifically for the brokerage community. There’s a lot of business intelligence [in the product]. There’s a lot of process automation that makes the job easier and has the potential to make people a lot more productive.”
While technology played a big role in Redwood’s decision to acquire Strive, the two companies’ culture match was also a critical component.
“We think this is a fantastic combination for us. It is almost like these two companies were meant to be together,” Yeager said. “They’re very similar culturally. In our travels over the last two years we’ve met a lot of companies, but these guys are definitely uniquely aligned with us.”
Culture has played a key role in all of Redwood’s acquisitions. A solid cultural fit helps to ensure employees at both companies stay motivated and feel a connection to the combined entity. Berger described Strive’s team as “hungry and ambitious” from top to bottom, much like Redwood’s existing team.
Strive has offices in Chicago and Austin, Texas. The company’s Austin office offers Redwood a chance to expand its geographical reach, a key component of Redwood’s overall acquisition strategy.
“We’re really excited to have a significant presence in Austin. It’s not a satellite or a green field; this is a major operation that we’re planning on growing significantly,” Yeager said. “The freight market in Texas is significant. We now have offices in Dallas, Laredo and El Paso and a major operations center in Austin. This is a great market to recruit people and will also bolster our emphasis on cross-border Mexico business. “
Redwood’s acquisition strategy has included expanding the company’s geographic reach from the very beginning.
For example, earlier this year, Redwood announced the acquisition of Atlanta-based LTX Solutions. That acquisition gave Redwood its first major operational presence in the Southeast.
The acquisition will also bring existing Strive customers an array of new services.
“Strive’s existing customers are going to get a whole lot of new services. Strive was really deep in the truckload and multimodal brokerage space. They’ve done a tremendous job at that,” Yeager said. “We’re going to be able to bring them a pretty sizable less-than-truckload [LTL] product offering, as well as asset-based trucking and distribution. For Strive’s existing customers, we’re bringing them a full suite of integrated solutions.”
The companies share very little network overlap, so customers of both companies can expect to benefit from greater lane density.
The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.