Daseke purchases Big Freight, The Schilli Companies

ADDISON, TX – American-based open deck provider Daseke has acquired Winnipeg-based Big Freight Systems and Indiana’s The Schilli Companies for undisclosed terms. 

In 2016, Schilli and Big Freight's total combined estimated revenue was $119 million.“We’re proud to welcome Schilli and Big Freight, as well as each of their outstanding teams to the Daseke family,” said Don Daseke, president and Chief Executive Officer of Daseke. “Both companies are industry elites in the open deck specialized market, and will bring new dimensions to Daseke’s depth of services and geographic footprint.”

Daseke said with the contribution of asset-light revenue, a first-class industrial warehousing operation, a new Midwestern presence, as well as an even stronger presence in the Canadian market, all of Daseke’s family of companies will benefit from their synergies and growing scale of operations.

In 2016, Schilli and Big Freight’s total combined estimated revenue was US $119 million.

Big Freight has been in business for nearly seven decades and specializes in the powersports market. Founded by Seaton “Red” Coleman in 1948, it serves all Canadian provinces and 19 U.S. states.

“There was a natural comfort level immediately with the other Daseke leaders,” said Gary Coleman, president and Chief Executive Officer of Big Freight Systems. “There will be many synergies between the companies. We all share the same DNA for wanting to be the best, and I look forward to sharing best practices with the Daseke family. What’s more, we will be a beachhead for Daseke in Canada. From an operational standpoint, we now have the financial resources of Daseke to grow our company further, along with consolidated purchasing power and risk mitigation coverage.”

The Schilli Companies was founded in 1961 when Ben Schilli purchased two operating companies founded in the 1940s. Joining the company in 1968, Tom Schilli assumed full owner-ship of the company in the 1970s. The Schilli Companies specialize in open deck transportation and industrial warehousing and distribution.

“We’ve dedicated nearly 50 years to building a specialized company with a vested interest in each facet of the industrial supply chain, and both the agility and expertise to solve an array of logistics or distribution challenges,” said Tom Schilli, Chief Executive Officer of The Schilli Companies. “After significant research and analysis, we determined that merging with Daseke is the best solution to preserve the company’s legacy, while driving us forward to the future.”

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