Why this 1,000-store chain just bought a trucking company – Sourcing Journal

Ashley Furniture has added another tool to its logistics arsenal with the acquisition of Missouri-based Wilson Logistics.

A subsidiary of Ashley Distribution Services signed an agreement at the end of November to acquire certain assets of Wilson, which has a fleet of more than 1,000 trucks serving the western United States, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

Wilson operates truck terminals in Springfield, Missouri; Missoula, Monday; Pacific and Yakima, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Tracy, California; and Garland, Texas.

The acquisition comes at a time when the logistical delays caused by the pandemic, both in the ports and in the field, have cut the delivery times for furniture from weeks to months.

Ashley has long had one of the most robust logistics operations of any furniture company in the United States. Its Ashley Distribution Services fleet, which is already one of the largest private fleets in the country, will increase capacity by almost 50% with the acquisition, giving the company nearly 2,000 trucks and 5,000 trailers. .

The Wilson Logistics deal is Ashley’s first logistics-related acquisition and will allow the company to better serve its more than 1,000 Ashley HomeStore stores in North America, as well as the independent retailers that sell Ashley products. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2021.

This year, retailers have drawn on their creative arsenal to work around bottlenecks and backlogs in the supply chain. Walmart has notoriously chartered its own vessel to transport goods to the United States, while Home Depot has taken a similar approach to moving products with delays of several weeks.

Trucking partners, meanwhile, have faced their own financial challenges amid continued industry disruption. A factoring company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, even as the industry focuses on driverless and autonomous vehicles in addition to sustainable options.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.

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