container trucks on the bridge, modern intermodal logistics background

Northstar Transport Services inked a deal with C&K Holdings to join a strategic partnership that also includes SEI Acquisition LLC, Skyline Express and AV Logistics LLC. This expanded partnership creates a larger network of trucks for customers seeking drayage transportation and management, the companies said in a statement today.

Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

The announcement follows a spike in demand for a variety of trucking, fulfillment and logistics services brought on by the growth of global e-commerce and COVID-19-related purchases of cars and other “hard goods” this year.

Aside from autos, there’s been a shift in consumer spending from experiential purchases, such as dining out and traveling abroad, to buying appliances, furniture and other “hardline” items. Stuck inside and close to home amid the pandemic, shoppers have been sprucing up their nests as well as buying autos to take on day trips.

That shift in spending and spike in transportation demand, which has also impacted freight forwarding and intermodal transportation services (such as transporting shipping containers from ports to distribution and fulfillment centers) has bolstered the sales and earnings of major trucking firms and spurred other deals and partnerships to expand available services. Still, companies continue to grapple with a shortage of drivers.

Regarding the Northstar partnership, Peter Pace, vice president of sales at AV Logistics LLC and C&K Trucking LLC, praised the leadership of Northstar under its president and chief executive officer Al Iannelli — who Pace described as an industry leader in the intermodal trucking business.

Pace said the partnership with Northstar “will help us expand our network and increase our capacity to serve clients. We are looking forward to seeing what more we can achieve together.”

Iannelli said the partnership “will allow us to increase capacity and offer fully integrated services to all steamship lines, freight forwarders, customs brokers, 3PLs and beneficial cargo owners. The increased capacity is a value-add for our customers, too.”

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