Transportation and logistics provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. will expand its ability to meet growing demand for moving big and bulky freight, announcing that it will acquire the freight line division of a Virginia-based furniture chain for $87 million.
Lowell, Arkansas-based J.B. Hunt said it would acquire the assets of Conover, North Carolina-based Zenith Freight Lines LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. Upon closing of the transaction, J.B. Hunt will continue to provide the same service that Zenith now performs for Bassett, operating under a long-term master services agreement, the firms said.
According to the Bassett, Virginia-based furniture maker, the deal will help it provide a high level of delivery service to customers. “Disruption caused by the pandemic aside, we believe that the consolidation of traditional specialized furniture transportation is inevitable,” Bassett Furniture CEO and Chairman Robert H. Spilman, Jr., said in a release. “As discussions with J.B. Hunt progressed, we came to understand the benefits that the scale of J.B. Hunt could provide in terms of equipment, technology, driver recruitment, intermodal transportation, and warehousing density.”
And from the trucking fleet’s point of view, the move will help grow its capability to move oversized goods. “This investment enhances J.B. Hunt’s furniture delivery capabilities by expanding our nationwide, end-to-end supply chain solution for our customers, and we look forward to establishing a long-term connection with Bassett, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality home furnishings and a leader in the industry,” John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt, said in a release.
That approach could help J.B. Hunt to keep pace with a national trend toward e-commerce shopping that has led to a boom in the volume of last-mile delivery for oversized goods ranging from furniture to appliances and mattresses, desks, chairs, and computers, and exercise equipment.
Similar deals in the past year have seen Werner Enterprises Inc. acquire final mile carrier NEHDS Logistics LLC for $64 million, alongside other takeovers by AIT Worldwide Logistics and Pilot Freight Services. And in 2020, J.B. Hunt itself also acquired both acquired Mass Movement Inc. and RDI Last Mile Co.
Today we announced that we will be acquiring Zenith Freight Lines from Bassett which will allow us to expand our Final Mile Services segment. Read more. #Freight #Transportation #FinalMile https://t.co/9XH3TC4Lm7— J.B. Hunt 360 (@jbhunt360) January 31, 2022