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For better or worse, for richer or poorer In the latest wave of mergers and acquisitions, U.S. Xpress Enterprises has announced a tentative agreement to acquire privately held Victory Express for $51 million in cash and assume some $3 million of debt. The acquisition is expected to close by January 31. Based in Medway, Ohio, Victory operates 500 tractors and 1,100 trailers to provide service to customers

For better or worse, for richer or poorer In the latest wave of mergers and acquisitions, U.S. Xpress Enterprises has announced a tentative agreement to acquire privately held Victory Express for $51 million in cash and assume some $3 million of debt. The acquisition is expected to close by January 31. Based in Medway, Ohio, Victory operates 500 tractors and 1,100 trailers to provide service to customers throughout the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard. Annual revenues are $65 million.

Burlington Motor Carriers has added to its operation the assets of Southwestern Freight Carriers, a regional and longhaul carrier operating 200 power units and 500 trailers with revenues of $24 million.

Nike Corp. has chosen California-based Redwood Systems to manage apparel distribution to its retailers through Mexico. Redwood Systems has a strong logistics operations base in Mexico, where it also provides supply-chain logistics management for the newly merged consumer products group at Philips Electronics and Lucent Technologies.

The Houston Chronicle has signed an agreement with Ryder Integrated Logistics to manage and operate a major part of the newspaper's distribution system. Under the agreement, the Chronicle will outsource its vehicle maintenance, drivers, dispatch, and distribution to Ryder. The Ryder-designed system will use dedicated tractor-trailer transportation to handle movement of newsprint and pre-prints to press, as well as distribution of finished newspapers to locations across Texas.

Ryder System has acquired the assets of International Truck Rental and Leasing of Modesto, Calif.

Can't tell the players without a scorecard To stay on top of the fast evolving motor carrier business, Transportation Technical Services has issued its 12th annual National Motor Carrier Directory, listing intelligence on 21,000 U.S. trucking firms. The 1998 edition reflects companies with 2.4-million trucks, tractors, and trailers, plus $129 billion in revenue. A comprehensive research, marketing, and sales tool, the directory helps shippers, carriers, suppliers, and third-party logistics firms to identify prospects, update their sales force, perform direct mail and telemarketing, plus broadcast fax.

The cost of the entire directory is $295. Individual state editions are also available. In addition, the directory can be obtained in computer disk or CD-ROM format. To order call 1-888-665-9887.

A fine mess Charles Jordan, owner of Indianapolis-based Redi Transportation Corp., was sentenced by District Judge Larry J. McKinney to a fine of $2,000 and six months in prison, followed by six months' home detention and three years' probation, for having falsified statements filed with the Dept. of Transportation. As part of his plea bargain, Jordan agreed to dissolve his company and stay out of the trucking business for two years. Jordan had previously plead guilty to conspiring to cause Redi truck drivers to falsify their driver's logs to conceal that they had driven in excess of federally prescribed time limits. In at least 10 instances, Redi drivers falsified logs by stating that there was a second driver on the trip who shared the driving, when, in fact, there was only a single driver.

To help carriers avoid situations like this, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is offering seminars on the identification and inspection of critical items relating to vehicle safety. The seminar features instruction on how to pass roadside inspections. Seminar schedule for '98: * February 25, New Iberia, La. * March 18, Atlanta * April 15, Concord, N.C. * May 12, Phoenix * June 10, Chicago * July 8, Buffalo * July 22, Richmond, Va. * September 16, Eagen, Minn. * October 14, Sacramento, Calif. * December 9, Plant City, Fla. For more information, contact CVSA at 301-564-1623.

Haul of Fame They don't talk back. But they do snap. Ten thousand pounds of live Dungeness crab made its way from Wrangell, Alaska, to Westport, Wash., after a two-and-a-half-day ferry and highway trip. The crabs' final journey was the first trip for Lynden Transport's special refrigerated trailer and tote system -- the first time live crabs had been shipped from Alaska to the lower 48.

[Editor's note: Pictures like these help bring the trucking industry alive. If you have pictures of any interesting loads you'd like to share, send them to The Editor, Fleet Owner, 707 Westchester Ave., Suite 101, White Plains, NY 10604.]

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