Outwest Express
Outwest Express Fleet

Cox Transportation Services acquires cross-border specialist Outwest Express

Dec. 22, 2022
Specializing in Mexican cross-border logistics, Outwest Express brings a fleet of more than 400 tractors and 1,200 trailers that serve a diversified group of customers to Cox Transportation’s time-sensitive truckload freight operations.

Ashland, Virginia-based Cox Transportation Services has acquired Outwest Express, which provides truckload freight services across the Southwestern U.S., specializing in Mexican cross-border logistics.

Established in 2010 by Michael Puzio and Zachary Chilson, Outwest operates a fleet of more than 400 tractors and 1,200 trailers serving a group of more than 300 customers across the retail, medical, manufacturing, automotive, and electronics industries.

Based in El Paso, Texas, with terminals in Kansas City, Missouri, and McAllen, Texas, Outwest specializes in managing Mexican cross-border logistics, which is one of the fastest-growing transportation marketplaces in North America. Outwest has capitalized on the tailwinds in nearshoring by manufacturers, driven by the relatively lower cost of shipping finished goods from Mexico versus overseas locales like China.

Established in 1982, Cox provides freight hauling and brokerage services to customers in a diversified group of industries across the U.S.  The company specializes in transporting time-sensitive full truckload freight and operates a brokerage division. 

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"I am delighted to join forces with Michael, Zach, and the entire Outwest team,” Jay Smith, CEO of Cox, said in a statement. “We admire the business they built and view it as a perfect complement to ours. By combining Outwest's capacity and expertise with Cox's, we can better serve our customers and enhance our role as a trusted and critical supply chain partner. This acquisition represents an important first step in our ongoing efforts to broaden and deepen our ability to serve our customers across truckload transportation and brokerage."

Puzio and Chilson will continue to lead the Outwest business, reporting to Smith, and will retain significant ownership stakes in the combined company. The acquired business will continue to operate under the Outwest brand.

"Zach and I felt strongly that it was the right time to align Outwest with a strong truckload carrier like Cox with a clear and demonstrated plan for success in today's transportation marketplace,” Puzio stated. “Cox and Outwest have similar customer- and driver-centric cultures that inspire world-class service. Both companies have proven teams of experienced employees who can benefit from the enhanced career prospects of a larger organization."

Expedition Capital Partners and Prudential Private Capital led a concurrent majority recapitalization of Cox in support of the Outwest acquisition and the company's continued growth plans. Truist served as the lead senior debt financing partner across a five-bank syndicated deal. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

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