Third-party logistics provider Echo Global Logistics expanded in the Southwest by acquiring Advantage Transport, a non-asset truck brokerage firm in Phoenix.
The acquisition includes Advantage’s workforce and its founders, Joe Larson and Matt Steckner, who will stay with Echo Global as regional vice presidents.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Advantage adds “significant depth to our carrier relationships in the Southwestern region of the United States,” said Douglas R. Waggoner, CEO of Echo Global.
The acquisition of Advantage, a $26 million company, by $426 million Echo Global is the latest in a wave of merger and acquisition activity in truck brokerage.
Brokerage firms provide purchasers with customer contacts and a direct channel to the capacity provided by trucking companies, without the equipment overhead.
Last month investor Bradley S. Jacobs purchased a $135 million stake in Express-1 Expedited Solutions as down payment on a multibillion-dollar brokerage firm.
Jacobs expects to build that brokerage operation through acquisitions.
“There are thousands of acquisitions opportunities” in brokerage, Jacobs told The Journal of Commerce. “We’re going to buy a lot of freight brokers of all sizes.”
Echo Global Logistics is one broker that’s getting bigger. The company’s revenue increased 64 percent in 2010. Echo has a five-year growth rate of 5,724 percent.
Crain’s Chicago Business named Echo Global the second fastest growing company in Chicago last month. The fastest was hedge fund manager AlphaMetrix Group.