• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.707
    -0.036
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.840
    -0.138
    -7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.937
    0.021
    2.3%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.421
    -0.025
    -1.7%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.971
    -0.035
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.033
    -0.036
    -3.4%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.041
    -0.059
    -2.8%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.527
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.404
    -0.040
    -2.8%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.179
    -0.002
    -0.2%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.506
    -0.047
    -3%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,646.100
    305.090
    3.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.600
    -0.170
    -2.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,653.700
    312.670
    3.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.760
    0.020
    0.7%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.707
    -0.036
    -2.1%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.840
    -0.138
    -7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.937
    0.021
    2.3%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.421
    -0.025
    -1.7%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.971
    -0.035
    -3.5%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.033
    -0.036
    -3.4%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.041
    -0.059
    -2.8%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.527
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.404
    -0.040
    -2.8%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.179
    -0.002
    -0.2%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.506
    -0.047
    -3%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,646.100
    305.090
    3.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    6.600
    -0.170
    -2.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,653.700
    312.670
    3.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.760
    0.020
    0.7%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American ShipperShipping

Schneider acquires two ‘final mile’ trucking companies

The Green Bay, Wis.-based trucking and logistics firm announced the acquisitions of Watkins & Shepard and Lodeso, which both specialize in the delivery of difficult-to-handle goods such as furniture and carpet.

   Schneider, the Green Bay, Wis.-based trucking and logistics firm, announced Thursday the simultaneous acquisitions of two companies that it said will complement its growing “final mile” delivery business.
   The two firms are Watkins & Shepard, based in Missoula, Mont. and Lodeso, based in Zeeland, Mich.
   Watkins & Shepard provides less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload and logistics services for difficult-to-handle goods, such as furniture and floor coverings, across North America. The company was founded in 1974 and has more than 1,300 employees, including nearly 800 drivers based out of 20 terminals across the United States.
   Lodeso, which is also is a final-mile logistics solution provider, specializes in the delivery of overweight, oversized and difficult-to-handle goods, including furniture and mattresses. The company has more than 50 employees and nearly 600 agents across the U.S.
   Schneider said Lodesco has “proprietary technology developed by its in-house experts to handle supply chain complexities within the national home delivery industry In addition to continuous delivery tracking throughout the supply chain, this unique technology platform allows delivery agents, customers and all appropriate parties to handle any issues in a proactive manner.”
   Over dimensional and hard-to-deliver products – everything from furniture, mattresses, exercise equipment and even gun safes – are going through an e-commerce home delivery channel more and more, Schneider Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Rourke explained.
   He said the two companies that Schneider acquired have a long history in that niche and “can accelerate our footprint and our capability to address that trend. Things that don’t go well for the small parcel channel and things that don’t go well through a traditional LTL channel, that overdimensional freight, is really what we believe we can bring the best mousetrap to the industry.” 
   “The ability to provide differentiated experiences for retailers, manufacturers and consumers is a primary area of strategic growth for Schneider,” Schneider President and CEO Chris Lofgren said. “We will continue to make significant investments to capture the full potential the combined companies now have to connect the first mile to the final mile.”
   “We are facing a large increase in demand for our services, and that requires investment in people, equipment and facilities,” Watkins & Shepard CEO Ray Kuntz said. “Schneider not only brings financial strength, they also understand transportation and the power of technology, and appreciate what we have built as a team. Schneider is the trusted choice to integrate and support our employees, as well as current and future customers.”
   Schneider said it has annual revenues of $4 billion,18,132 associates and 11,650 drivers.
   After years of being a stepchild in the LTL trucking industry, “last mile” delivery has become a targeted growth area by a number of trucking companies, in large measure because of the increase in e-commerce, SJ Consulting President Satish Jindal said.
   XPO Logistics has acquired several companies specializing in last mile delivery of heavy goods including 3PD in 2013 and UX Specialized Logistics in 2015. JB Hunt expanded into the last mile heavy delivery business organically, and there are many other LTL carriers that specialize in the segment including companies like MXD, which is owned by Platinum Equity, and Cory.
   Jindal cautioned that last mile delivery can be a tricky business to perform optimally. For example, if a customer is not home, “redeliveries can be very expensive.”  
   Rourke said that increasingly products such as furniture or mattresses are being sourced not out of physical inventory at a local retail stores, but by e-tailers without brick and mortar retail locations from centralized distribution centers.
   “We are now going to bring our own company owned final mile trucks to do that delivery ourselves and that is what is strategically attractive to us. We can now not give that to another company or a third party delivery agent, but we can make that a Schneider service right to the consumer’s home,” he said.

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Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.
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