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J.B. Hunt to acquire brokerage assets of BNSF Logistics 

J.B. Hunt to acquire brokerage assets of BNSF Logistics
J.B. Hunt to acquire brokerage assets of BNSF Logistics

One of North America’s largest supply chain providers, J.B. Hunt Transport Services has made a big business move. The company has agreed to purchase the brokerage operations of BNSF Logistics, an affiliate of BNSF Railway. 

J.B. Hunt’s CEO John Roberts says this acquisition is one step forward in the company’s mission to create North America’s most efficient transport network. “As we continue to work with BNSF Railway to develop solutions that drive value for customers, we recognized a unique opportunity to combine the companies’ efforts to serve the transportation market with third-party logistics services and leverage the investments J.B. Hunt has made 360 ° in our technology platform 360°,” says Roberts. 

A ground-breaking business relationship 

J.B. Hunt has been a customer of BNSF Railway for many years, providing containers and truck trailers for the BNSF rail network. In 1989, J.B. Hunt and BNSF Railway developed a double-stack shipping solution that would suit rail and trucking services – a first in modern transportation. 

BNSF Logistics CEO Katie Farmer says the acquisition will further integrate the two companies’ services. “This agreement with J.B. Hunt reflects our companies’ shared commitment to provide industry-leading intermodal service to our customers,” says Farmer. 

On closing the transaction BNSF Logistics’ brokerage operations will be rolled into J.B. Hunt’s integrated capacity solutions for segment reporting purposes. 

Transport leaders buying acquiring businesses 

J.B. Hunt is no stranger to acquisitions. In October 2022, it acquired one of the US’ largest furniture carrier companies, Zenith Global Logistics, which resulted in J.B. Hunt extending its nationwide furniture carrier solutions. And in 2020, the transport leader acquired RDI Logistics. 

The Arkansas-based transport company is also moving to the sustainable business route. In July this year, the company announced it would purchase 13 Nikola zero-emission class 8 trucks. The company made this move to ensure it reduced its carbon emissions and to stay at the forefront of technology in the transport industry. Another of its carbon-emission goals is to expand the use of biofuels. 

M&A firm weighs in on logistics industry 

Capstone Partners is one of the largest, most active investment banks in the US. 

In its September 2023 M& Industry update, the firm says the recovery in the trucking industry is creating buyer opportunities. “The sector challenges have created an opportunity for well-capitalized sector consolidators seeking to strengthen networks and add capabilities in strategic growth areas. Knight-Swift (NYSE:KNX) recently completed its largest acquisition to date, with the $841 million acquisition of U.S. Xpress Enterprises in July 2023 (valued at 5.5x EV/EBITDA).” 

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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