Rail and Air Freight Acquisitions

The new BNSF Logistics acquisition will operate as BNSF Logistics International and provide air and ocean import and export service and Customs brokerage. The company is Diversified Freight Logistics, Inc. and Royal Cargo Line (collectively known as DFL), of Grapevine, TX. DFL, an international freight management provider grossed $40 million last year.

Looking at the acquisition, BNSF Logistics vice president and general manager, observed,"Stretching our services to encompass the international freight management spectrum is consistent with our recurring theme of evolving BNSF Logistics according to customer demand. DFL's operations-focused approach parallels our North American efforts and the company provides an excellent platform for forward growth.”

Short line and regional freight railroad holding company, Patriot Rail Corp., has purchased the Utah Central Railway (UCRY), headquartered in Ogden, UT. The railroad was established as a short line operator in 1995, running on former Union Pacific track. At Ogden the UCRY interchanges with the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Last year it handled 8,500 carloads along its 34 miles of owned and leased rail line. Commodities handled by the UCRY include sugar, asphalt, lumber, plastic, steel, liquid propane gas, fuel, grain and chemicals.

This rail acquisition is the third for Patriot. It now owns and leases 246 miles of rail line in Tennessee, Alabama, Montana and Utah. With headquarters in Boca Raton, FL, in addition to the UCRY, Patriot now owns the Tennessee Southern; Butte, Anaconda & Pacific; and Copper King Express railroads.

Through its acquisition of Synergy Cargo Logistics, Towne Air Freight now has seven new full-service terminals and a greater presence in the Southwestern US. Synergy has a customer base similar to that of Towne, made up of air and ocean freight forwarders. The company had earnings of $25 million in 2007.

After integration of the two companies, Towne will add four service points: Tucson and Nogales, AZ; Calexico, CA; and El Paso, TX. Operations previously handled by agents in Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego will now be handled by Towne. "The acquisition of Synergy significantly strengthens our full-service model in Arizona, Nevada and California, opens a door into Texas while improving transit times with all other stations," noted Tom Downey, president and CEO of Towne Air Freight.

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