U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Chattanooga, Tenn., is buying a 47 percent interest in Smith Transport Inc. and its affiliated companies.

The Smith management team, led by President Barry Smith, will remain in place and will initially control a majority 53 percent interest in Smith. Smith will operate independently from U.S. Xpress, using Smith's current facilities. Barry Smith will continue to wholly own and independently operate his warehouse operations.

Smith is a truckload carrier that provides medium length of haul and dedicated dry van service primarily in the eastern United States. Smith's primary operating centers are in Roaring Spring, Pa.; Remington, Ind., and Atlanta. Smith currently operates 850 tractors and approximately 3,000 trailers.