TFI buying US 3PL DLS Worldwide for $225 million

Acquisition pole-vaults Canadian company’s logistics business

TFI International (NYSE:TFII) will buy U.S. third-party logistics provider DLS Worldwide from RR Donnelley & Sons (NYSE:RRD) for $225 million in one of the Canadian company’s largest acquisitions in recent years. 

TFI announced the acquisition Tuesday. It represents a major move by the Montreal-based company to scale its U.S.-based logistics business.

Based in the Chicago suburbs, DLS Worldwide generated $550 million in revenue during a recent 12-month period, according to TFI. Once the acquisition closes, TFI said it expects DLS will generate $22.5 million in operating income in the first four quarters. 

To put the acquisition in perspective, TFI’s logistics segment generated about $780 million in revenue and $58 million in operating income in 2019. 

DLS has a diverse book of business covering less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, intermodal,  freight forwarding, expedited and parcel. 

“The asset-light model of the DLS business will expand our reach through a significant agent station network and represent a compelling opportunity as our first major U.S. logistics operation focused primarily on LTL,” TFI CEO Alain Bedard said in a statement. 

DLS will operate as a standalone unit in TFI under the name TForce Worldwide. DLS President Thomas Griffin will remain. 

Bedard told financial analysts in February that TFI’s U.S. logistics segment represents “one of the diamonds that’s going to be shined,” with the potential for major growth by capitalizing on growing e-commerce volumes. Earlier this year, he also compared the company’s logistics offering to Amazon’s.

While trucking remains TFI’s single-largest business, the DLS acquisition will make asset-light logistics an increasingly important segment. 

The deal marks one of TFI’s largest acquisitions in recent years. It follows a $219 million share offering in August.

TFI has been on an acquisition roll since June, picking up three of bankrupt Comcar’s four main trucking units, the Canadian LTL carrier APPS Transport and container hauler Gusgo.

In March, TFI acquired the courier services business of R.R. Donnelley.

TFI International is Canada’s largest trucking and logistics company.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at