Third-party logistics company Coyote Logistics—which arranges transport via truck and train—is acquiring Chattanooga-based competitor Access America Transport.
"I've felt a wide range of emotions, but ultimately, I know this is the best place for our company long term," Access America CEO Ted Alling said.
Alling and CFO Barry Large founded Access America in 2002. Miller Welborn and Allan Davis soon joined the company, according to the Access America website.
Over the next 12 years, company leaders added offices in Alabama and Minnesota.
By 2011, the company's sales had doubled to $190 million, and that growth meant 100 new jobs in offices in Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio and Tennessee.
Alling said that the sell doesn't mean anyone will lose jobs.
"The combined company has very aggressive growth plans, so layoffs are the last thing on their mind," he said.
Access America leaders got frequent offers, but there was something about Coyote that made Alling, Davis and Large think Coyote was the right fit.
They each admire Coyote CEO Jeff Silver, who Alling said values people the same way Access America leaders do.
"The first time I walked into his office, I got chill bumps," he said. "I looked around, and it was like, 'These are our people.'"
And Alling said that he's seeing consolidation within the industry and that the two companies have complementary assets.
"Together, it's something special," he also said.
Coyote has better technology and gets good prices for train shipping, he said.
Access America does more "less-than-truckload shipping" and more flatbed shipping.
And the move means Alling, Davis and Large—who are also partners in Lamp Post Group, which is an incubator for startup companies—will have more money to invest into that business.
"For the community, it's going to be very good," Alling said. "We're putting a lot more money into Lamp Post, and we're going to start a lot more companies."
Leaders of Coyote said in a news release that the combined company will be one of the largest third-party logistics service providers in North America. That means revenues of more than $2 billion and 17 North American locations, with about 40,000 contracted carriers and about 1,750 employees.
"We are incredibly excited to welcome the Access America team to the pack," Silver said in a prepared statement. "We are confident that our shippers and carriers will see the benefit of our newly expanded and dedicated customer service team. This merger reinforces our relentless commitment to shippers and carriers across North America. We now have more resources and better capacity to serve them."
Leaders said that the transaction is consistent with strategies to build "a premier supply chain offering that provides services for all transportation needs. Shippers and carriers will benefit from an expanded network, enhanced multimodal transportation capabilities and improved less-than-truckload services," according to the news release.
Officials didn't disclose the terms of the transaction.
Disclaimer: Nooga.com is affiliated with Lamp Post Group, which has a business relationship with Access America Transport. Editorial decisions for this publication are made independently of Lamp Post and Access America.
Updated @ 11:50 a.m. on 3/18/14 to add more information.