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J.B. Hunt announces plans to acquire Special Logistics Dedicated LLC, expand e-commerce offerings

Taking steps to expand its e-commerce delivery platform, trucking and intermodal services bellwether J.B. Hunt (JBH) recently announced it plans to acquire Special Logistics Dedicated LLC (SLD) for $136… By Jeff Berman

Taking steps to expand its e-commerce delivery platform, trucking and intermodal services bellwether J.B. Hunt (JBH) recently announced it plans to acquire Special Logistics Dedicated LLC (SLD) for $136 million, with the deal subject to customary closing conditions.

Houston-based SLD is a provider of pool distribution services in North America, with 14 terminals and fulfillment centers and a fleet comprised of more than 850 pieces of equipment, according to JBH. SLD provides various services, including: dedicated transportation at both dedicated and multi-use sites; cross-docking and contract logistics; less-than-truckload product consolidation; commingled pool distribution; and a Texas-based intrastate 57’ dry van highway service.

“SLD’s strong customer base and strategically placed fulfillment centers position us as a top national pool distribution services provider,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt, in a statement. “This acquisition will also allow our customers to deploy ‘big and bulky’ inventories into key markets, improving order fulfillment times for Final Mile deliveries and further enhancing our e-commerce delivery capabilities. We are excited to welcome the employees, customers, and carriers of SLD to J.B. Hunt.”

Robert W. Baird and Co. analyst Ben Hartford wrote in a research note that bringing SLD into the fold is expected to improve Hunt’s handling of big and bulky shipments and fulfillment times for final mile deliveries.

“We view the deal to be a small, but logical and complementary expansion of JBHT's existing e-commerce/final mile delivery solutions and consistent with their previously expressed acquisition strategy,” wrote Hartford.

This deal in some respects serves as the most recent example of large carriers building out their final, or last, mile segments through acquisition or the introduction of it as a new service offering.

Some examples of this include:

  • Werner Enterprises announcing in May that it introduced Werner Final Mile, a service providing nationwide delivery and related services to residential and business locations and leverage its large network of delivery teams with operations in nearly 200 locations;
  • Amazon announced in May that it plans to enter the last mile delivery market for furniture and logistics;
  • XPO Logistics in May said it plans to expand its last mile network in Chicago; and  
  • in June 2016, Schneider made two separate acquisitions each with a last mile focus, buying Watkins & Shepard, a Missoula, Montana-based provider of LTL, truckload and logistics services for difficult-to-handle goods, and Lodeso, a Zeeland, Michigan-based final-mile logistics solution provider, focusing on the delivery of overweight, oversized, and difficult-to-handle goods, with its proprietary technology to handle supply chain complexities within the national home delivery sector

About the author
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. Contact Jeff Berman

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