Matlack Selling Off Assets, Fading Away

June 14, 2001
Matlack Systems Inc, Wilmington, Delaware, has thrown in the towel. A pioneer and once the largest tank truck carrier in the United States, the company

Matlack Systems Inc, Wilmington, Delaware, has thrown in the towel. A pioneer and once the largest tank truck carrier in the United States, the company will be broken up and sold off over the next two months.

Matlack announced June 7 that it had signed letters of intent to sell its terminals and other assets to Superior Bulk Logistics Inc and Quality Distribution Inc. Matlack officials said they expect to complete the sale within 60 days.

“Matlack intends to work with both Superior and Quality regarding an orderly, Seamless transition of business,” said Michael B Kinnard, Matlack president and chief executive officer. “Until the transactions are complete, Matlack will continue to serve customers as we always have.”

The announcement of the asset sale came just 11 weeks after Matlack filed for Chapter 11 protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code. The March 29 Chapter 11 announcement came after press reports questioning the continued viability of the company.

Ranked third in Modern Bulk Transporter’s latest Gross Revenue Report, Matlack reported gross revenues of $186.9 million in 2000, with a loss of around $39.9 million for the year. The previous year, the company reportedly lost $16.9 million on $198.2 million in gross revenue. The losses began in 1998, when Matlack reported that it lost $2 million on gross revenues of $233.3 million.

Based on the letters of intent, Superior Bulk Logistics is buying most of the terminal network owned by Matlack. The facilities in the Superior deal are in Parker AZ; Savannah, Atlanta, and Brunswick GA; Chicago IL; Whiting IN; Louisville KY; Gonzales LA; St Louis MO; Elizabethport NJ; Norwood (Cincinnati) OH; Charleston and Spartanburg SC; Memphis TN; Channelview, Freeport, and Houston TX; Nitro WV; and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Superior also intends to work with Matlack regarding continuing relationships with Matlack fleet operator terminals in Chattanooga and Nashville TN and Westville IN.

Quality Distribution will be acquiring Matlack facilities in San Pablo CA; Pocatello ID, Lake Charles and Kenner LA, Portland OR, Pittsburgh PA, Salt Lake City UT, and Kent (Seattle) WA.

The future status of Brite-Sol, Matlack’s tank cleaning subsidiary, was not discussed in the announcement. However, the wash racks in the Brite-Sol system are at the terminal facilities that are being sold.

About the Author

Charles Wilson

Charles E. Wilson has spent 20 years covering the tank truck, tank container, and storage terminal industries throughout North, South, and Central America. He has been editor of Bulk Transporter since 1989. Prior to that, Wilson was managing editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter and associate editor of Trailer/Body Builders. Before joining the three publications in Houston TX, he wrote for various food industry trade publications in other parts of the country. Wilson has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and served three years in the U.S. Army.