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USA Truck acquires Georgia-based Davis Transfer Co.

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VAN BUREN, Ark. — USA Truck said Thursday it had acquired privately-held Davis Transfer Co. and related entities of Carnesville, Georgia.

Davis is a southeast regional carrier with approximately $50 million in revenues and a recent operating ratio in the upper 80’s. The company was founded by Harry Davis in 1959 and has been a family owned business since that time.

Davis has been managed as a full truckload carrier for the past 20 years by Gary, Bill and Todd Davis.

Todd Davis will join the USA Truck leadership team as a vice president. Davis will operate independently of USA Truck as a wholly owned subsidiary. Davis’ employees and customers should notice little change moving forward.

James Reed, president and CEO of USA Truck, said Davis has a reputation as a safe operator, having been named Florida’s Safest Carrier in both 2016 and 2017, adding that the company also has a long history of outstanding service and is a recognized leader by its customers in regional, quasi-dedicated truckload freight.

“Davis represents a unique opportunity to add capacity, loyal customers, and exceptional drivers — all of whom are committed to the continued strong performance of the business,” Reed said. “The Davis family has been a great steward of the organization, with a strong track record of success and profitability, and this partnership reflects the next natural step in the progression and growth of Davis.”

Reed said the acquisition gives USA Truck a greater presence in the southeast and provides three key strategic opportunities: increased alignment with driver domiciles, enhanced maintenance facility presence, and financial synergies.

“We believe there are opportunities to enhance the flow of driver movements into and out of existing markets – which we anticipate will minimize deadhead and enhance capacity availability and service to our customers,” Reed said. “We intend to drive improvements to the maintenance cost structure of both USA Truck and Davis by leveraging Davis’ existing terminal infrastructure. Finally, we anticipate the realization of certain financial synergies, especially in the procurement area. We believe these advantages, coupled with what we expect will be a substantially and immediately accretive business, make this acquisition a great fit.”

The transaction will be primarily funded via the company’s revolving credit facility and cash on hand, with a minimal equity issuance provided to Todd Davis to ensure strong alignment with interests of USA Truck shareholders.

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Werner Logistics recognized as Enterprise Business of Year at tech celebration

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Members of the Werner Logistics team include (front row) Rajan Bhattarai, Stacey Richter, Marina Brown, Vajra Anugu, Lavanya Gudimetla, Kim Smith, Padmaja Ravipati and Manoj Eedara; (back row) Andy Damkroger, Ronnie Thomas, Johnny Boykin and O’Brien Chin.  (Courtesy: WERNER ENTERPRISES)

OMAHA, Neb. — Werner Enterprises, a transportation and logistics provider, has been recognized as the Enterprise Business of the Year at the 2019 AIM Tech Celebration.

Werner associate Marina Brown was also named the Tech Champion of the Year.

“Werner Logistics continues to show our ability to differentiate the Werner portfolio with creative and innovative solutions,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Derek Leathers. “It is especially important to acknowledge our talent and culture because without them none of these groundbreaking achievements are possible.”

Leathers said Werner Logistics was named Enterprise Business of the Year for its outstanding application of technology. Other criteria included innovative product/project deployment, groundbreaking ideas or implementations or an outstanding return on technology investment.

The Tech Champion of the Year Award is a special recognition conferred by the Tech Celebration award committee to an individual or group who has contributed their time and talents to AIM and other tech community initiatives to develop tech awareness and skills in others. Brown is an Application Development Manager at Werner.

The AIM Institute, headquartered in Omaha, is an innovative not-for-profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent community through career development and educational programs. Through these efforts, the AIM Institute improves thousands of lives across the Silicon Prairie.

Werner Enterprises was founded in 1956.

For more information, visit www.werner.com.

 

 

 

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FTR’s September Shippers Conditions Index Stays in Positive Territory

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September Shippers Condition Index is unchanged over August but forecast indicate upward trend.

Bloomington, Ind.– FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) for September remained unchanged from August at a 6.4 reading. All measures included in the SCI were positive with less favorable fuel pricing offsetting more favorable freight volume, capacity utilization, and logistics cost factors.

FTR projects the Shippers Conditions Index to trend towards neutral through 2020 as freight demand softens and capacity utilization firms. The potential impact of a global reduction in the sulfur content of marine fuel due to IMO 2020 remains a wildcard.

Todd Tranausky, vice president of rail and intermodal at FTR, commented, “Shippers’ place in the freight market remains solidly positive as the year moves into its final quarter. We expect shippers’ position in the marketplace to slowly deteriorate in 2020 as capacity tightens and freight demand recovers.”

The November issue of FTR’s Shippers Update, published November 7, 2019, details the factors affecting the September Shippers Conditions Index. Also included in November is an analysis of trucking failures, the total number of carriers operating and the effect on overall capacity.

The Shippers Conditions Index tracks the changes representing four major conditions in the U.S. full-load freight market. These conditions are: freight demand, freight rates, fleet capacity, and fuel price. The individual metrics are combined into a single index that tracks the market conditions that influence the shippers’ freight transport environment. A positive score represents good, optimistic conditions. A negative score represents bad, pessimistic conditions. The index tells you the industry’s health at a glance. In life, running a fever is an indication of a health problem. It may not tell you exactly what’s wrong, but it alerts you to look deeper. Similarly, a reading well below zero on the FTR Trucking Conditions Index warns you of a problem…and readings high above zero spell opportunity. Readings near zero are consistent with a neutral operating environment. Double digit readings (both up or down) are warning signs for significant operating changes.

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ATA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declines 0.3% in October

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ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year. (The Trucker file photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. —  The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index declined 0.3% in October after rising 1% in September. In October, the index equaled 118.1 (2015=100) compared with 118.5 in September.

“October’s tonnage change, both sequentially and year-over-year, fits with an economic outlook for more moderate growth in the fourth quarter,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The ongoing slowdown in manufacturing activity also weighed on truck tonnage last month.”

It is important to note that ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight, which is performing significantly better than the plunge in spot market freight this year.

September’s reading was revised up compared with our October press release.

Compared with October 2018, the SA index increased 1.7%, the smallest year-over-year gain since June. The index is up 3.9% year-to-date compared with the same period last year.

The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 125.4 in October, 8.4% above the September level (115.7). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015.

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 70.2% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.77 billion tons of freight in 2017. Motor carriers collected $700.1 billion, or 79.3% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.

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