Stonier Added to NYK Empire

Stonier Added to NYK Empire

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

NYK Lines'' growing intermodal empire just got a bit bigger. Its GST Corp. subsidiary acquired Vexure, the parent of five transportation-related businesses, including the Stonier Transportation Group, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based transportation management firm, freight forwarder and 3PL delivering nearly 80,000 shipments a year worldwide.

Shippers won''t see any changes, according to the companies. Stonier Transportation Group, Stonier Trucking Co., TRT Carriers, Velocity 3PL. and Alert Cargo Express will continue to operate as separate businesses with "added synergies" gained by joining GST, the companies said.

NYK Lines is layered like an onion. Its NYK Logistics (Americas) subsidiary owns GST Corp., a Memphis, Tenn.-based 3PL that provides multimodal transportation solutions. GST now owns Vexure, which owns Stonier and its sister companies. Florida Trends magazine last month included Jacksonville-based Vexure among the Sunshine State''s top 200 private companies, both in revenue and payroll. It''s also been ranked among the fastest growing companies in Northern Florida by the Business Journal of Jacksonville. The company had $41 million in sales in 2000 and $68 million last year. This year Vexure expects to hit $90 million.

Being acquired by GST will help Vexure continue its aggressive expansion. "Our acquisition by GST presents new sales opportunities across all Vexure brands, provides us with working capital to fund our growth and exposes us to additional capabilities in technology and dispatching," said Allen J. Steele, Vexure chairman and CEO.

"We were initially attracted to Vexure because of how their services complement ours," said Lanny Vaughn, president and CEO of GST Corp. "Once we looked deeper, we found a well-run, growing organization whose customers, people and technology fit very nicely with the way we do business."

No changes are expected in Vexure''s senior management team, which, besides Steele, includes Tom Piatak, president and chief operating officer; Lorah Barber-Ashmore, treasurer and CFO; and David Stonier, senior vice president.