Team Picture 3
Team Picture 3
Team Picture 3
Team Picture 3
Team Picture 3

Reconnected: Quala, Boasso unite as Depot Connect

Dec. 13, 2023
Newly launches corporate brand image conveys full breadth of combined company’s tank trailer and ISO container cleaning, maintenance, storage, and transportation capabilities

Edie Reaves, Quala’s chief transformation officer, thought she’d have time to catch her breath after last year’s integration of Polar Service Centers (PSC) following the largest acquisition in the company’s history. But that was only a trial run for a much bigger transformation—combining operations with Boasso Global under new private-equity ownership.

To clearly communicate the companies’ combined mission—making shippers’ and carriers’ lives easier—Quala, Boasso Global, and their subsidiaries are now dropping their legacy brands in favor of one unified identity: Depot Connect International (DCI).

“In a sense, this merger is bringing old friends back together,” said Jeff Noble, DCI executive vice president of operations.

Quala and Boasso Global both emerged independently in the mid-1980s, came together under Quality Distribution in 2007, and then subsequently split out in 2009. Their new private equity owners, KKR, brought them back together in 2023 through a merger that reunited leaders who previously worked together at Quality Distribution. Quala’s Scott Harrison will serve as CEO of the combined operation, and Boasso Global CEO Joe Troy is moving to DCI’s board.

Company rebranding

Reaves said they quickly realized a cohesive rebrand was in order. The only question was how to accomplish it. Smash the two brands together to pay homage to the legacy brands? Or create a novel brand that conveys their new combined purpose. “We spent a lot of time researching, and talking to customers, internal stakeholders, and ownership, to figure out which path to take, and we decided to go with a fresh brand,” Reaves shared.

“Depot” best describes all of DCI’s sites. “Depots are the right place to house equipment, enabling our customers to better service their customers by placing them closer to food-grade and chemical manufacturing plants, railroads, and ports,” said Terry O’Brien, DCI chief development officer.

“That ‘Connect’ word really encompasses the power of the new brand,” Reaves explained. “It’s our network, it’s the connections we create for our customers around the world, and it defines how all the pieces come together.” Those connections are both internal and external and extend from their shared history to a newly incorporated present as a singular provider of tank trailer and ISO tank container cleaning, maintenance, storage, and transportation—and future expansion as a fully integrated enterprise.

While the company name may be changing, DCI leadership emphasize “our culture, the people, and processes remain the same. So hopefully, having a name that’s descriptive of what we do resonates with customers.”

Business integration

The integration of operations, systems, and personnel already is underway but will be an ongoing process given DCI’s combined size—3,800 employees and more than 170 depots worldwide. DCI truly has a global presence, serving operations in United States and Canada, as well as depots in the U.K., Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. “We’re excited about what we’re putting together,” O’Brien said. “We think it makes a lot of sense. These are all containers, whether they’re tank trailers, ISO tank containers, IBCs or rail tank cars. We clean and maintain all types of tank containers and we provide service to folks who are integrated in that supply chain of shipping bulk materials—now internationally.”

DCI’s leaders began putting pieces together with a meeting in Tampa, Florida, immediately after the transaction closed. DCI’s integration team keeps the teams apprised of their progress with consistent communication. “What we already do really well is share information,” said Antony Leighton, DCI president of European operations. DCI’s leaders also recently met in Chalmette, a suburb of New Orleans, to work on streamlining activities through collaborative “value stream mapping.”

Their efforts already are paying off. DCI is increasing ISO tank turnaround times by integrating its cleaning facilities in Detroit; Kingsport, Tennessee; and New Orleans. “I’m confident in the systems we have in place and continue to develop—that will tie all the services together, increasing visibility and velocity for customers—will make doing business with DCI easier and more efficient,” O’Brien said.

Value proposition

DCI undertook the effort to benefit customers, leaders maintain. “Our goal is to provide great services to our customers,” Reaves said.

“We want them to be able to do more because we can serve them better.”

To help customers operate their businesses with “seamless, efficient, and reliable logistics,” DCI developed a value proposition leaders say is tailored to their unique needs. Partnering with DCI includes the following advantages:

  • Global connectivity: DCI’s extensive network spans the globe, ensuring goods can reach every corner of the world. A worldwide presence means DCI can efficiently connect carriers to essential services, offering a truly global perspective.
  • Customer-centric approach: Customer satisfaction is DCI’s top priority. The company is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service at every touchpoint. With this merger, DCI provides a one-stop solution for all logistics needs, including transport, storage, maintenance, cleaning.
  • Innovative solutions: DCI understands efficiency is key, and it leverages the latest technology and industry best practices to offer streamlined processes, an intuitive online platform, and a parts store that connects customers with essential components.
  • Unwavering reliability: With a record of delivering excellence, DCI aims to be a reliable partner in transporting essential goods. The company’s operations are designed to keep supply chains running smoothly.
  • Partnering for success: Customer success is DCI’s success. The company maintains that it is committed to building lasting, meaningful connections and delivering results that consistently exceed expectations. “Our dedication to your satisfaction remains unchanged,” Harrison said.
  • Industry leadership: DCI is the union of Quala and Boasso Global, two industry leaders with a combined history of excellence. By choosing DCI, carriers benefit from the expertise and reliability of a trusted partner.

“In a world where time and efficiency are paramount, DCI empowers your business to thrive,” Harrison concluded. “We’re not just a logistics provider. We’re your connection to a world of opportunities, a one-stop shop for all your needs. When you choose DCI, you choose a partner that’s always connected, always innovative, and always focused on delivering value to your business.

“Join us in this new era—and let’s shape the future of your business together.”

About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has nearly 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.