Rocky Mountain Trucking LLC

El Paso, Texas-based truckload carrier Outwest Express on Wednesday was acquired by Cox Transportation Services, based in Ashland, Virginia. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Servicing the Southwestern U.S., Outwest Express (CCJ Top 250, No. 187) specializes in managing Mexican cross-border logistics – one of the fastest-growing transportation marketplaces in North America thanks to manufacturer near-shoring. The company was founded in 2010 by Michael Puzio and Zachary Chilson, operates a fleet of more than 400 tractors and 1,200 trailers, and services more than 300 customers across retail, medical, manufacturing, automotive and electronics industries with terminals in Kansas City, Missouri and McAllen, Texas.

Reporting to Cox CEO Jay Smith, Puzio and Chilson will continue to lead the Outwest Express business and retain “significant” ownership in the combined company. The company will continue to operate under the Outwest Express brand.

Puzio said he and Chilson felt the time was right time to align Outwest Express with a strong truckload carrier like Cox.

“Cox and Outwest have similar customer- and driver-centric cultures that inspire world-class service,” he said. “Both companies have proven teams of experienced employees who can benefit from the enhanced career prospects of a larger organization. Zach and I will continue to be deeply invested and focused on ensuring great outcomes for all our employees and customers.”

For his part, Smith said he was “delighted” to join forces with Puzio and Chilson and the Outwest Express team.

“We admire the business they built and view it as a perfect complement to ours,” he said. “By combining Outwest’s capacity and expertise with Cox’s, we can better serve our customers and enhance our role as a trusted and critical supply chain partner. This acquisition represents an important first step in our ongoing efforts to broaden and deepen our ability to serve our customers across truckload transportation and brokerage.”

There have been at least 31 deals among CCJ‘s Top 250 for-hire carriers since the beginning of June, and 35 Top 250 fleets have struck 40 deals this year.