ESCO Transportation Company, a publicly traded intermodal drayage company, has announced a five-year plan to consolidate the highly fragmented intermodal drayage and short-haul truckload segments of the industry.
The company plans to make acquisitions within key intermodal markets in the U.S. and leverage its resources. This would lead to increased capacity, as well as cost and service efficiencies in an industry area often referred to as "a black hole" due to the large number of small, competing companies, most of which have little supply chain visibility and IT support for shippers, according to ESCO.
The first acquisition came on January 20, with the purchase of Minnesota-based Quantum Transportation Inc., which has operations in Shakopee, MN, serving the Minneapolis marketplace, as well as a facility in Ripon, California, which serves the Modesto and Stockton, CA markets. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Kevin Dahlke, formerly president of Quantum Transportation, will join ESCO as terminal manager, with responsibility for both the Shakopee and Ripon locations. Dahlke has 22 years of experience in the transportation industry including full truckload and intermodal transportation, as well as freight brokerage.
Robert J. Weaver, president and COO of ESCO, said ESCO’s consolidation strategy will be enhanced by its company wide adherence to strict quality improvement, productivity and innovation.
Last week, Union Pacific Carrier Services awarded the ESCO a contract to operate a new Fort Smith, Arkansas intermodal ramp facility. That contract, plus the acquisition of Quantum Transportation, now provides ESCO with nine intermodal drayage operating facilities, including: Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Fort Smith, AR; Gulf Port, MS; Memphis, TN; Minneapolis, MN; Modesto, CA; Los Angeles, CA; and Springdale, AR.