DHE Buys Matheson Fast Freight

DHE Buys Matheson Fast Freight

Logistics and trucking business The Dependable Companies acquired West Coast trucking company Matheson Fast Freight, expanding its stake in the California less-than-truckload market. The acquisition may also signal increasing consolidation in trucking as the economy begins to improve.

Matheson Fast Freight, which operates throughout California and Nevada, will be added to Dependable Highway Express, the trucking arm of The Dependable Companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It's a significant expansion for Los Angeles-based Dependable, which offers LTL, truckload, dedicated carriage, warehousing, forwarding, drayage and brokerage services through six divisions.

Its trucking division, DHE, was founded as a Southern California LTL carrier in 1950, and now offers regional LTL service in California, Nevada and Arizona, as well as regional and national truckload carriage and drayage at California ports. The Dependable Companies' other divisions extend its reach to Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, as well as Mexico and Latin America.

Matheson, founded in 1973, operates a fleet of 172 tractors and 425 trailers, with 392 employees.

"The purchase of Matheson Fast Freight is an important step forward in our company's planned program of growth," said Ron Massman, CEO of The Dependable Companies. "Matheson is one of the most respected names in trucking in the West." He said Matheson has full service terminals throughout California, "the single most important trucking market in the U.S."

Massman said the trucking industry is beginning to shake off the recession. "Latest figures indicate that trucking volume is up about 20 percent from its low toward the end of last year," he said. "DHE expects to capitalize on this renewed growth. … We expect to take full advantage of a stronger U.S. economy."

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com.