Two Flatbed Carriers Merge With Daseke

May 1, 2017

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Photo: The Schilli Companies
Photo: The Schilli Companies

Two open deck specialized transportation companies, The Schilli Companies and Big Freight Systems, have merged with Daseke.

Daseke says it is the largest owner of open deck equipment in North America, but it still accounts for less than 1% of the $133 billion market. With the addition of Schilli and Big Freight, Daseke will be able to grow and continue to consolidate the fragmented open deck field.

“Our ongoing strategy is to look for companies that are not for sale, companies like Schilli and Big Freight,” said Don Daseke, president and CEO of Daseke. “A key objective of our recent decision to go public was to accelerate the company’s consolidation in the open deck specialized freight sector. Schilli and Big Freight are a natural fit with our operating companies, and these new mergers are a crucial and important step in our journey.”

Don Daseke bought his first trucking company in 2008 when he purchased Washington-based Smokey Point Distributing. A few years later, he added North Dakota-based E.W. Wylie. He soon decided to build a nationwide company focusing on flat deck and heavy haul, and has added companies such as Boyd Bros. and Bulldog Hiway Express to the fold.

The Schilli Companies are based in Indiana and comprise Schilli Transportation services, Schilli Specialized, Schilli Distribution Services and Schilli National Lease, a member of National Lease.

“We’ve dedicated nearly 50 years to building a specialized company with a vested interest in each facet of the industrial supply chain, and both the agility and expertise to solve an array of logistics or distribution challenges,” said Tom Schilli, CEO, The Schilli Companies. “After significant research and analysis, we determined that merging with Daseke is the best solution to preserve the company’s legacy while driving us forward to the future.”

Photo: Big Freight Systems
Photo: Big Freight Systems

Big Freight systems is a Canadian open deck carrier with a specialization in the power sports market segment and services all Canadian provinces and 19 U.S. states.

“There was a natural comfort level immediately with the other Daseke leaders,” said Gary Coleman, president and CEO, Big Freight Systems. “There will be many synergies between the companies. We all share the same DNA for wanting to be the best, and I look forward to sharing best practices with the Daseke family. What’s more, we will be a beachhead for Daseke in Canada. From an operational standpoint, we now have the financial resources of Daseke to grow our company further, along with consolidated purchasing power and risk mitigation coverage.”

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