Forward Air Corporation (CCJ Top 250, No. 57), an asset-light provider of transportation services across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has agreed to acquire full-service expedited LTL carrier Land Air Express for $56.5 million. The transaction is expected to close later this month. 

Headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Land Air Express offers a variety of services, including guaranteed, standard, exclusive, same day, hot shot and pickup and delivery. With approximately 270 employees and over 200 drivers (including company and leased capacity providers), Land Air Express operates 302 trucks from 25 terminals across the U.S.

Forward Air already provides expedited LTL services, including local pick-up and delivery, shipment consolidation/deconsolidation, warehousing, and customs brokerage but Chairman, President and CEO Tom Schmitt said the LTL business is a key growth area for the company, and the purchase of Land Air Express is an important addition to its LTL growth opportunities.

“This acquisition will accelerate the expansion of our national terminal footprint, particularly in the middle part of the United States, and we believe it will strategically position us to better meet the current and future needs of customers,” he said, calling Land Air Express “a high-performing team that shares our precision execution DNA and a strong commitment to collaboration with customers.

“We believe this acquisition will increase our capacity to provide customers with the industry leading on-time and damage-free service they demand. We are thrilled to welcome Land Air Express into the Forward family.”

Forward Air in November acquired the assets of Chickasaw Container Services (CCS), a privately held intermodal drayage carrier operating terminals in Mobile, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, expanding the company’s intermodal drayage operations in the Mobile market while bolstering an already strong presence in the Memphis market.