Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Saia acquires Robart Transportation, expands truckload brokerage and logistics presence

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 03, 2012

Multiregional less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Saia said this week it has acquired truckload and brokerage services provider Robart Transportation Inc. and its subsidiary The RL Services Group LLC.

Saia officials said that the purchase price was roughly $7.8 million, as well as an earnout subject to the performance of the acquired companies in 2013. They added that the company plans to rebrand Robart under the Saia name in the fourth quarter.

Established in 1981, Duluth, Georgia-based Robart had $12 million in revenue in 2011. Its Robart Transportation group focuses on truckload and brokerage services, including expedited/time critical delivery offerings, full-service cross-dock and consolidation management, and guaranteed services, among others. And its RL Services Group provides various supply chain and logistics services, including mode, fleet, and operations analysis, carrier selection, fleet management, and data mining capabilities, among others.

Robart has roughly 40 employees and about 80 percent of its business is done on the truckload brokerage side, with the remaining 20 percent on the logistics side. Its customer base includes some major shippers, including Delta, AT&T, and Coca-Cola.

In an interview with LM, Saia President and CEO Rick O’Dell explained that as an asset-based LTL, Saia has not really had a professional logistics offering or truckload services, save for a partnership for a small amount of overflow truckload freight in the backhaul market.

“What we were really looking to do was to diversify our portfolio of offerings to our customer base,” he said. “While this is a small acquisition it is strategic in that it really expands our service offerings.”

With Saia and Robart roughly 15 miles apart from each other in Georgia, O’Dell said the close proximity makes the opportunities for things like cross-marketing to customers easier. But more importantly, he pointed out, what that Saia was looking for a company with strong operations and management.

And he said what Saia really wanted to do was buy a company with strong management and base of business and subsequently leverage it over the Saia customer business base for a period of time.

“When you look at these non-asset based companies, it is the service capabilities that they have and the leadership in a ‘people’ business,” said O’Dell. “The most important thing was that the management team was talented and wanted to stay with the company. It is growing at a double-digit level from a revenue growth standpoint and has an 89 operating ratio.”

Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Ross wrote in a research note that this is a “good acquisition” in that Saia bought a small, profitable company at a fair price and is keeping management in place, with the leverage coming from cross-selling services both from Saia customers to Robart and Robart customers to Saia. 

 

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The value of exports from America’s Foreign-Trade Zones increased by 13.7 percent in 2013, to a record-high 79.5 billion in merchandise exported, according to figures released by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board in its Annual Report to Congress.

While summer may be nearing its end, the climate in the manufacturing sector remains very warm, according to the most recent edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued today by the Institute for Supply Management.

When publicly-traded Class I freight railroad and intermodal service providers issued second quarter earnings results earlier this summer, the topic of less than ideal service on the rails was a common theme within the earnings releases and question and answer sessions with top management at those companies.

Supply chain security provider Freightwatch International has released its semi-annual report on cargo theft in the Asia Pacific region for the first half of 2014, which contains some heartening news for U.S. shippers reliant on trucking, warehousing and retail.

FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, reports today that a decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed previous rulings by the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in three class action cases involving mostly former independent contractors for FedEx Ground

Article Topics

News · Truckload · Logistics · LTL · Saia · brokerages · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA