Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Roadrunner Purchases California Drayage Firm

Wisconsin-based transportation and logistics firm Roadrunner Transportation Systems (RRTS) announced Monday that it has acquired all of the outstanding stock of short-haul transportation firm The James Brooks Company.

James Brooks, with headquarters in Fresno, California, provides drayage service to the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Oakland transporting primarily fresh produce including citrus, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.

The purchase price was approximately $7.5 million and was financed with borrowings under RRTS' credit facility. According to RRTS, James Brooks generated about $12 million in sales during calendar year 2010, all with operating margins in excess of 10 percent.

RRTS chief financial officer Peter Armbruster said that he expects the James Brooks acquisition to add to RRTS' net earnings in 2011.

Mark DiBlasi, President and CEO of RRTS, said, "The James Brooks acquisition substantially enhances the scale and critical mass of our drayage operations in key ports on the West Coast. In addition, [James Brooks'] seasonality matches up well with our existing intermodal drayage business, which we believe will enhance our driver utilization and retention. We look forward to supporting and expanding James Brooks' solid customer relationships and strong service record as we pursue continued growth in the business."

Also on Monday, RRTS announced a 6.9 percent general rate increase to all points in the US and Canada. The increase is set to take effect August 15.

The James Brooks purchase is only the latest in a string of recent expansion moves by RRTS.

In early June the firm announced a management restructuring to better handle the evolution of RRTS from an LTL trucking firm to a broadeer-based multimodal transportation and logistics firm.

A week earlier RRTS had announced the $10.6 million purchase of Wichita, Kansas-based refrigerated carrier M. Bruenger Trucking.

In February, RRTS moved strongly into the intermodal sector with the $20 million cash purchase of Morgan Southern, an Atlanta-based drayage firm with 19 intermodal terminals nationwide. Located mainly in the US Southeast and Midwest, the Morgan facilities include three at West Coast ports: Los Angeles, Stockton, and Tacoma.