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Merger and acquisition craze continues in truckload as Werner adds Baylor Trucking to its network

The merger-and-acquisition craze in the $332 billion full truckload market continued Monday. Werner Enterprises, already the sixth-largest carrier in the TL market with $2.7 billion in revenue last year, expanded its terminal, fleet and driver footprint in mid-America by purchasing Milan, Ind.-based Baylor Trucking. Terms were not disclosed.

Baylor achieved revenue of $81.5 million for the 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2022. Founded in 1946, Baylor is an award-winning and premier truckload carrier that operates 200 trucks and 980 trailers in the east-central and south-central U.S., with their network of two terminals.

Werner Chairman, President and CEO Derek Leathers said Werner’s acquisition of Baylor’s 234 “highly-skilled” drivers and other workers was a key factor in the purchase.

“I have known Cari Baylor for many years and I have tremendous respect for what Cari, her family and her leadership team have created at Baylor,” Leathers said in a statement. “This acquisition … will position us for further growth. We expect this transaction to be accretive in year one and anticipate buying power synergies through integrated management of our combined fleets.”

Among the strategic and financial benefits cited by Werner for the acquisition was acquiring a fleet of 200 trucks (170 company and 30 independent contractor) and 980 trailers.

Existing Baylor leadership (including President Cari Baylor), drivers and non-driver associates will remain in place, Werner said. Leathers said Werner is retaining the Baylor brand to ensure smooth integration and high driver retention.

Baylor has a freight revenue mix of one-way dry van (51%), expedited dry van (42%) and refrigerated (7%). The acquisition increases Werner’s fleet size by 2.4%. Werner also cited unnamed “buying power synergies” expected through combined management of the two fleets

Both Werner and Baylor have similar cultures focused on safety and superior customer service. Werner also cited the companies’ shared values of working with customers with high expectations, establishing long-term mutual service and revenue objectives and delivering best-in-class performance to stabilize volume and minimize churn.

Werner’s purchase of Baylor continues a wave of mergers and acquisitions within the $332 billion full truckload marketplace.

This summer, North Liberty, Iowa-based Heartland Express bought Contract Freighters Inc.’s (CFI) non-dedicated U.S. dry van and temperature-controlled TL business and its CFI Logistica operations in Mexico from Montreal-based TFI International, Inc. for $525 million.

In addition to Heartland buying CFI, Fort Smith, Ark.-based USA Truck was bought by DB Schenker, the German logistics giant, for $425 million in an all-cash deal last summer. Schneider, in its second acquisition of the year, bought deBoer Transportation, a regional and dedicated carrier headquartered in Blenker, Wis.

Among other TL acquisitions this summer were KLLM Transport Services’ acquisition of Quest Global, P.A.M. bought Metropolitan Trucking and up north Fastfrate acquired Challenger Motor Freight in a major Canadian acquisition.

Baylor will operate as a stand-alone business unit within Werner. Its financial results will be reported in Werner’s One-Way Truckload unit within Truckload Transportation Services.

“Both Werner and Baylor believe deeply that our professional drivers are the backbone of our companies,” Leathers added. Both companies grew from one-truck operations.

“I have admired and respected Werner for a long time as an industry leader,” Carl Baylor said in a statement. “We are extremely excited to join the Werner team and look forward to continued growth as we leverage the strengths of Baylor and Werner to serve our existing and new customers at even higher levels.”

“We will stand by our customers and continue to provide them with the superior service they expect from Baylor. Aligning with Werner only expands our service capabilities. Werner shares our passion for delivering value and continually creating personal and professional opportunities for our elite Baylor team,” said Cari Baylor, President of Baylor Trucking.

 Among other awards, Baylor was named carrier of the year by Walmart four times, and in 2021 Baylor was named Diversity carrier of the year for the second time.

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