A&R Logistics is moving into liquids.
The dry bulk specialist recently acquired First Choice Logistics, a provider of bulk liquid transportation and logistics services to the chemical industry, marking its entry into liquid chemical supply chain services.
With a network of strategically located terminals, including principal locations in Chicago and Houston, First Choice provides over-the-road bulk transportation, ISO intermodal services and a full suite of logistics solutions to some of North America’s largest producers and converters of liquid chemicals.
Founded in 1987 by Richard Jousma, First Choice historically operated as an independent unit of Ozinga Bros, a Chicago-based provider of cement, energy and related solutions. The entire First Choice leadership team will join A&R at the time of the transaction, A&R said.
“We are thrilled to welcome the First Choice employees to the A&R team and congratulate the Jousma and Ozinga families on building such a great liquid transportation platform,” said Mark Holden, CEO of A&R. “For many years, A&R’s customer base has requested that we complement our best-in-class dry bulk services with high-quality, high-touch liquid transportation capabilities. We spent significant time evaluating potential add-on candidates, and First Choice stood out for its enviable reputation among customers and competitors.
“The addition of First Choice expands on our chemical supply chain platform and enhances our ability to provide shippers end-to-end solutions.”
Wind Point Partners, A&R’s parent company, acquired A&R in May 2019 in partnership with Holden, a veteran executive in the logistics space who previously led four separate investments to a successful sale or IPO. This represents the third add-on for A&R under Wind Point’s ownership, following the additions of Blue Water Plastic Transport in June 2019 and Plantgistix in November 2019.
A&R’s acquisition strategy will continue to focus on acquiring companies that provide dry and liquid bulk transportation, warehousing and logistics services to producers and distributors of chemicals and plastics.
“First Choice represents a key first step in building out a scaled, best-in-class liquid transportation solution that will serve as a strong complement to A&R’s leading position in dry bulk chemical transportation,” said Konrad Salaber, managing director with Wind Point. “Responding to A&R customers’ requests for liquid solutions was a core feature of our value creation plan, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to launch this service line through the acquisition of First Choice.”
Prior Wind Point investments include Dicom Transportation, STG Logistics, Valicor Environmental Services and AIR-serv.
“On behalf of First Choice management, our drivers and all our employees, we would like to express our thanks to the Ozinga family, who have been such great partners to us over the past 30 years,” said Luke Jousma, vice president of First Choice. “We are excited to join the A&R family and we are eager to expand the liquid platform through organic and acquisition growth.”
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