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J.B. Hunt to acquire 275 truck North Carolina carrier for $87 million

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On Monday, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. announced plans to expand its Final Mile Services segment by acquiring a Conover, North Carolina-headquartered trucking company.

J.B. Hunt has entered into an agreement to acquire Zenith Freight Lines, LLC, for approximately $87 million, the company said in a January 31 press release.

Zenith Freight Lines has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bassett Furniture Industries for nearly 50 years. Zenith posted revenue of $87 million in the fiscal year ending November 2021, with Bassett representing one-third of its business.

Zenith Freight Lines operates 275 trucks and employs 268 drivers, according to the FMCSA’s SAFER website.

“We are excited to welcome the employees and customers of Zenith to J.B. Hunt,” said Nick Hobbs, chief operating officer, executive vice president and president of Contract Services at J.B. Hunt.

“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,” said John Roberts, president and CEO of J.B. Hunt.

“The sale of Zenith opens an exciting new chapter in our quest to provide the highest level of service to our customers,” said Robert H. Spilman, Jr., Bassett’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “Disruption caused by the pandemic aside, we believe that the consolidation of traditional specialized furniture transportation is inevitable. 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. In addition, we developed a healthy respect for the management team and their operating culture. We are extremely enthusiastic about the potential to better serve our customers with the 50-year accumulated furniture transportation know-how of Zenith in combination with the power of the J.B. Hunt platform.”

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