Today's Trucking
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Geotab acquires Fleetcarma to add to its EV offerings

June 13, 2018 by elizabeth

TORONTO, Ont. — Geotab has bought the Waterloo, Ont.-based Fleetcarma.
CEO Neil Cawse announced the acquisition during his opening talk at Geotab’s two-day conference Connect 2018.
The Google-based transportation data company will be adding Fleetcarma’s technology and software to its current offerings.

opinions

Factors in the M&A Equation

February 21, 2018 by John Smith

On the one hand, things were status quo in the Canadian trucking mergers-and-acquisition space last year. Big carriers continued their sprint to scale, looking for plug-and-play tuck-ins that add customers, drivers, and coverage. When the carriers found them, they struck […]

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Manitoulin acquires Direct Right

January 10, 2018 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Manitoulin Transport has acquired Direct Right Cartage — an intermodal provider based in Brampton, Ontario – marking the fleet’s seventh acquisition in 12 months.

“This purchase enables Manitoulin to provide a higher level of service and frequency of intermodal service within Canada. We will continue to look for opportunities such as this to build our services and coverage to ensure our offerings meet our customers’ evolving needs,” said Jeff King, president of Manitoulin.

“Manitoulin’s ability to extend customers’ reach from Canada to the rest of the world through multiple supply chain service offerings gives them a significant competitive advantage,” added Gord Smith, Chief Executive Officer.

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Mixed emotions mark the sale of 88-year-old MacKinnon

December 13, 2017 by elizabeth

GUELPH, ON – Size and human resources issues were behind the recent sale of MacKinnon Transport to Contrans Group, that took just 24 days from handshake to final close.
Former president and CEO of MacKinnon Transport, Evan MacKinnon, says the company was doing well, but couldn’t overcome some of the challenges associated with their size, forcing them to choose to grow, or sell the family business.

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IN PRINT — Bulk Buyer: Don Daseke

November 8, 2017 by John Smith

STEINBACH, MB — Big Freight Systems wasn’t for sale. The Coleman family had been running the business since 1948, when they bought South East Transfer in Steinbach, Manitoba. Chief Executive Officer Gary Coleman was focused entirely on finding ways to grow.
When a courier package arrived from Don Daseke, proposing a potential sale, he simply filed it away.
But Daseke persisted. The pair met in person. And this spring Big Freight Systems became the first Canadian ­operation in Daseke Inc.’s expanding family of specialized, flatbed carriers.
“His philosophy on business, his ­philosophy on people, his philosophy in terms of driving success forward through collaboration, all ran very close to me,” Coleman recalls. “I got comfortable with his long-term plan.”
That plan is to consolidate fleets in an industry sector dominated by ­family-owned businesses. The Texas entrepreneur has secured more than 3,800 trucks and 8,200 trailers so far, accounting for about 1% of what Daseke estimates is a US $133 billion market. The business reported $30 million in revenue in 2009, growing to a pro forma of $869 million last year. And more acquisitions are in the works.
Daseke refers to himself as an accidental trucker. He began his career as an auditor, held roles at IBM, and later built a residential real estate business that sold for US $1.7 billion. He first invested in trucking nine years ago only after a friend introduced him to Smokey Point Distributing, which specialized in aviation cargo. That became the first of today’s 13 operating companies.

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Freight volumes, rates to rise in ’18: Analysts

October 12, 2017 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, ON – The coming year appears to hold the promise of a growing economy, tighter capacity, and ultimately higher rates for those who haul freight.
“When you have the economy doing reasonably well, transportation tends to be generally picking up,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist – Scotiabank, in a presentation during the Surface Transportation Summit in Mississauga, Ontario. He projects economic growth of about 2% in 2018, compared to the 3% seen in 2017.
“The Canadian economy recently has been very strong,” agreed Walter Spracklin, equity research analyst – transportation sector at RBC Capital Markets.
But where railways have enjoyed higher volumes against the backdrop of recent growth, trucks didn’t fare quite as well. Railway volumes surged in part because of the demand for fracking sand, feeding into the 6.5% boost in overall freight that moved over iron highways, he said. Intermodal freight volumes are growing as well, although grain volumes are likely to drop when compared to the strong crops of 2016. Of the Canadian railways, CN is seeing capacity tighten, leading to congestion challenges and a projected boost in capital spending.

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Kriska acquires Service Freight Systems

September 25, 2017 by John Smith

PRESCOTT, ON – Kriska Transportation Group (KTG) has acquired Burlington, Ontario-based Service Freight Systems (SFS), which will continue to be led by general manager Rob Ten Brinke.

Service Freight Systems, a logistics company founded in 1995, specializes in temperature-controlled, cross-border, truckload freight. Kriska Group has 600 tractors, 1,700 trailers, and employs 850 people including owner-operators. Its brands include Kriska Holdings, Mill Creek Motor Freight, JMF Transport (1992), and Transpro Freight Systems.

“The KTG family of companies, with its asset-based core, complements well with SFS. They will add depth to our growing investment in logistics services,” said Mark Seymour, Kriska’s president and Chief Executive Officer, in a related press release.

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Titanium continues acquisition hunt

August 11, 2017 by John Smith

BOLTON, ON – Titanium Transportation Group continues its search for companies to acquire, focusing mainly on Ontario-based truckload fleets with cross-border van or flatbed business.

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PSI acquires Tire Pressure Monitoring System provider

April 11, 2017 by John Smith

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Truck System Technologies (TST), which provides systems to monitor tire pressure and mobile assets, has been acquired by Pressure Systems International (PSI).

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Knight, Swift merge as $6 billion truckload powerhouse

April 10, 2017 by John Smith

PHOENIX, AZ — Knight Transportation and Swift Transportation are merging in a blockbuster deal that creates the biggest truckload fleet in North America, valued at close to US $6 billion.

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IN PRINT — Top Trends: Issues that are reshaping Canada’s biggest carriers

February 22, 2017 by John Smith

Meyers Transport is gone. After 90 years in -business, and decades on Today’s Trucking’s Top 100 list of Canada’s largest for-hire carriers, the -eastern Ontario fleet shut its doors in mid-January. High capacity and aggressive rate cutting in the Less-than-Truckload (LTL) sector were blamed along with a general downturn in the region’s industrial activity. “It is sad to think there won’t be any trucks and trailers going up and down the road with ‘Meyers’ on it anymore,” observed chairwoman Natalie Meyers, part of the fourth generation in the family business. The family’s Mortrans truckload and dedicated -specialty service continues, as does Mosaic Logistics, but 190 people lost their jobs.

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Appetite for Acquisitions: Find the Synergies

August 1, 2014 by Martin Smith

TORONTO – Expectations on the seller side have dialed down a bit and the balance sheets on the part of buyer’s side are in pretty good shape, says Walter Spracklin.

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Mullen setting up to expand the fold

August 1, 2014 by Martin Smith

CALGARY, Alta. — Mullen Group Income Fund is entering 2008 with a renewed emphasis on growth.

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B.C.-based ad company steps into trucking

August 1, 2014 by Martin Smith

VANCOUVER — ActionView International had been evaluating acquisition candidates for several months before entering into an agreement with Jim Palmer Trucking.

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Vancouver marketing firm hits the brakes on trucking action

August 1, 2014 by Martin Smith

VANCOUVER — ActionView International has postponed its move into the trucking business after the Montana outfit it was eyeing filed for Chapter 11.