Panther Expedited is acquired by Arkansas Best, leading less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2012

Arkansas Best will build on Panther's time-definite and cold-chain services for life sciences

Arkansas Best Corp. (Fort Smith, AR), owners of ABF Freight System, the nation’s largest LTL carrier, has completed its purchase of Panther Expedited, for $180 million and assumption of debt. Panther will operate as a sister company to ABF. Panther, which specializes in expedited shipping, gets access to ABF’s larger base of customers globally; ABF gets a business that it had been using itself for “hot shot” expedited deliveries, as well as a growth opportunity that fits with its LTL business.

Both companies provided services to pharma manufacturers and distributors, although Panther has been a more visible presence at industry events in recent years, highlighting its cold chain and related premium services. “With Panther operating as a sister company to ABF Freight System, our core LTL business, we are better positioned to serve as a premier one-source logistics partner to our customers as their shipping needs rapidly evolve,” said Arkansas Best CEO Judy McReynolds.

Besides LTL shipping, ABF provides global supply-chain management services, order management and fulfillment. In addition to ABF, Arkansas Best operates FreightValue, a transportation broker, and FleetNet America, a maintenance-management and roadside repair service for transportation providers.

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