LDS acquisition establishes foothold in mid-South
Acquiring the assets of Eagle Worldwide Transportation of Memphis in late August gives Logistics and Distribution Services a fleet of 50 trucks and expanded business opportunities across the mid-South, says LDS Chief Executive Officer Ross Kline.
LDS, which employs 160 drivers and 36 office employees in northern Nevada, had been looking to expand its operations eastward for some time at the urging of several of its Fortune 500 clients.
“We have some big customers that have been bugging us for long time to expand back to East because they like what we do for them in the West,” Kline says. “We have been working on this for a long time.”
LDS in January merged with Reno-based Star Logistics and picked up an additional 80 trucks and 20 trailers. The acquisition of Eagle Worldwide’s assets is a springboard to not only serve existing clients in the East and South but to pursue new lines of business as well, Kline says. LDS is looking at additional (but smaller) expansion opportunities in Indianapolis and Atlanta as well.
“We really are trying to replicate our presence in the East half of the country like we do in the West,” he says. “I think this almost doubles our size and national presence. I wanted to get my hands on the trucks and quickly be able to use them.
“It gives us some mass and density that we can build from, and having that density of drivers to start with makes growing easier and gives us the ability to have an impact.”
LDS, which provides logistics and warehouse storage operations, will continue to service Eagle’s top customers. Memphis is a well-known distribution hub, Kline notes, and he’ll leverage existing relationships to boost his firm’s business in the region with a goal of doubling size of the Tennessee-based fleet by year’s end.
Assimilating Eagle Worldwide’s drivers and dispatchers into Logistics and Distribution Service’s modernized dispatch and networking system proved slightly challenging, Kline says. LDS uses the latest electronic tracking and dispatch systems, while Eagle was more “old-school.”
“We have pretty updated technology,” Kline says. “They were on totally different system. We do everything electronically, and the culture shift of that certainly has been the biggest challenge.”
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