Arnold Transportation Services and LinkAmerica to merge in 2013
December 07, 2012
Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises said this week that its subsidiary Arnold Transportation Services, a Jacksonville, Florida-based provider of regional dry van services from the northeast to the southeast, has merged with Ft. Worth, Texas-based LinkAmerica, a truckload and logistics services provider in the south and southeast.
U.S. Xpress officials said the merger will be completed in January and added that the combined company will operate under the Arnold name and be comprised of more than 1,800 drivers. Tenex Capital Management, LinkAmerica’s owner, and U.S. Xpress will jointly own and operate the company, said U.S. Xpress.
“Arnold Transportation has been working on ‘Going back to our roots’ over the course of the year,” said Todd Smith, CEO of Arnold Transportation Services, in an interview. “Pre-recession and in the glory days, Arnold was 1,400-plus trucks and known as the #1 Regional Provider with a great customer base and good base of drivers to support that. Because of the downturn in the economy over the last few years, the company contracted its size to below 800 trucks.”
In January of this year, Smith said Arnold rebuilt the management team to work towards getting the company back to those glory days and have focused on three primary principals to get there: Safety, Service, People.”
“In each month of 2012, we have grown and continued to get stronger and stronger,” said Smith. “Now, our customer demands are exceeding our capacity, which has forced us to look at options to accelerate our growth.”
Smith said there were various factors for this merger that made sense. One factor, he cited, was how Arnold and LinkAmerica have footprints that match overlap in the Southeast and Southwest markets, adding there have always been conversations between the two companies. What’s more, he said that customer demands have forced both companies to look for ways to increase capacity, making it clear that this merger was great move.
“This merger is a win-win for our customers,” he said. “We will become the 32nd largest dry van company starting the first of the year. The footprints of both companies are aligned so well, that it will provide our customers increased capacity availability starting day one. This is also a win-win for our drivers. The increased density will provide more miles in the same region. They will also have access to modern driver facilities, showers, lounges and so on.”
The “New Arnold” will have over 1400 trucks and 5000 trailers starting off the beginning of the year with average age of their tractors being 20 months or less.
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