We have another merger to talk about. KLLM Transport Services, a major player in the temperature-controlled freight sector, announced June 14 a deal to buy Quest Global. Quest Global is a midsized expedited truckload carrier based in Cartersville, Georgia. It specializes in coast-to-coast, team-based freight logistics. KLLM Expedited Services, the new brand name for the former Quest, will maintain the Cartersville headquarters, about 30 minutes north of Atlanta, for the home of the new unit.
Not many details out there on this deal
Details are otherwise scarce. No dollar amount was given on the purchase of Quest. The Safer website lists Quest Global as having 208 power units and 360 drivers. The company lists general freight, produce and refrigerated food as its cargo. It had 364 inspections in the past 24 months, with a vehicle out-of-service (OOS) rate of 14.9%, far less than the national average of 21.48%. Its drivers were excellent as well, with only 1.4% having OOS violations.
KLLM, the new parent company, has 1,646 power units and 1,740 drivers. They hauls general freight, fresh produce, meats, refrigerated foods, chemicals, beverages and paper products. KLLM has a vehicle OOS rate of 13.6% and an outstanding driver OOS rate of 0.8%, far below the national average of 6.11%. The company also had five hazardous material inspections, all of which it passed.
What now for the Quest drivers?
I expect the new KLLM employees will face the usual hoops: a fresh pile of paperwork for background checks and a trip to the medical clinic for a drug screen. As with most mergers, KLLM will want to verify that all the drivers it is absorbing are free and clear of anything that could cause damage to the company’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) score. That satisfactory safety rating at the bottom of the Safer website is very important in contract negotiations.
It doesn’t appear that KLLM would want to shutter the company. It fits perfectly in the business model, and team-based expedited services is a valuable tool to have at your disposal. It’s difficult to find drivers who want to live in a small space together. And having a hundred or so teams at the ready when produce season kicks in is a huge upside.
I will update this story as more information becomes available.