Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services on Friday (Feb. 15) completed the purchase of New Jersey-based carrier Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery. J.B. Hunt announced Jan. 9 it had reached a deal to buy Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery for $100 million as it continues to invest into final mile delivery of bulky items.
Final mile refers to the last leg of a shipment, such as the delivery of goods to the businesses and homes of consumers. Cory’s home delivery services will be integrated with J.B. Hunt Final Mile Services, a division of the company’s Dedicated Contract Services segment. Final Mile Services is one of the largest nationwide, commingled cross-dock operations and has the ability to serve 100% of the contiguous United States, according to a news release. With the acquisition of Cory, Final Mile Services has grown to include 100 locations and more than 3.1 million square feet of warehouse and facilities space.
“Cory’s customer-first mentality and focus on the consumer experience have made it one of the best in the furniture business,” said Nick Hobbs, executive vice president and president of Dedicated Contract Services for J.B. Hunt. “Those values very much align with ours, and we are proud to welcome Cory to the J.B. Hunt family.”
Cory was founded in 1934 and provided home delivery of big and bulky items across the United States and U.S. territories using 14 warehouses and other customer-owned facilities. Cory had more than 1,000 independent contractors, carriers and delivery drivers and completed more than 2 million deliveries annually.
J.B. Hunt’s Final Mile Services revenue rose by $17 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, from the same period in 2017. Final Mile Services accounted for 5% of the 458 trucks that were added in the Dedicated Contract Services segment in the fourth quarter. For 2018, revenue in the segment rose 25.8% to $2.163 billion, or 25% of the company’s total revenue. Operating income rose 13% to $193.419 million, or 29% of the company’s income.
In a fourth-quarter earnings call, when asked about future acquisitions, CEO John Roberts said the company wasn’t looking at anything now but will continue to be open-minded and listen to customers to determine needs and gaps to fill. In 2017, J.B. Hunt spent $136 million to buy Houston-based carrier Special Logistics Dedicated, allowing the company to expand its pool distribution and fulfillment delivery services. Pool distribution allows a company to combine multiple less-than-truckload shipments into one shipment, resulting in a lower shipping rate, and the service is used in the distribution of e-commerce freight. The 2017 deal was the first time in 26 years J.B. Hunt had acquired another company.