Dayton, Ohio-based Jet Express has been sold to Martin Transportation Systems (MTS) of Byron Center, Michigan. Although the transaction happened last November, the new owners wanted to keep it quiet, according to Kevin Burch, Jet Express president. However, the Dayton Daily News reported July 27 that the sale this week of Jet Express’ Webster Street terminal property brought the sale to light.
Burch, who has served as chairman of both the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Conference and is a past HDT Truck Fleet Innovator, told HDT in an interview that MTS and Jet Express are both in the business of hauling just-in-time automotive freight, and the company cultures also seemed a good fit.
Burch said MTS will keep the terminal open and operating under the Jet Express name, and the company has kept him on as president “through the transition.” When asked what happens after that transition, Burch said right now he’s just focused on keeping Jet Express growing, noting as well that he is about to turn 64.
“There’s so many companies now that are looking at consolidations for various reasons – equipment, drivers, personnel; it’s hard to get good operators in the office and also behind the wheel,” Burch told HDT. “This is a really interesting time in the trucking industry, so I think carriers are looking at other good carriers to see if there may be a match.”
Burch just celebrated 30 years with Jet Express, all at this location. He has long been an advocate for “telling trucking’s story” to improve the industry’s image with the general public and has been heavily involved in the Trucking Moves America Forward image campaign.