Hirschbach acquiring John Christner Trucking, creating reefer giant

JCT reefer truck
With combined revenues expected to exceed $1 billion annually, the reefer conglomerate will operate more than 3,000 trucks and 5,000 trailers, along with a $150 million 3PL operation.
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In a move that will create a refrigerated carrier giant, Hirschbach Motor Lines (CCJ Top 250, No. 61) is acquiring Sapulpa, Oklahoma-based refrigerated carrier John Christner Trucking (No. 115).    

With combined revenues expected to exceed $1 billion annually, the reefer conglomerate will operate more than 3,000 trucks and 5,000 trailers, along with a $150 million 3PL operation. 

Hirschbach owner and CEO Brad Pinchuk has high expectations for the union, saying "these two organizations should be united and fit together like two puzzle pieces."

Hirschbach semiIn addition to JCT’s 800 trucks, Hirschbach will be able to offer its customers access to JCT’s logistics operation.Putting the puzzle together unlocks coast-to-coast along the southern tier of the U.S. for Hirschbach – JCT's primary lanes – while Hirschbach’s density is largely east of the Rockies. 

JCT was born in 1986 by John Christner, who got his start in trucking two decades earlier hauling produce from California and returning to the coast with juice or meat – the core of what JCT does today. He was succeeded by his sons Danny and Darryl, who expanded the size of the trucking company – now with 800 trucks – and started JCT's logistics business.

John and Darryl Christner will retire but current JCT CEO Danny Christner will join Hirschbach as President of JCT, which will operate as a separate company.

 “The ability to transition two of our owners was paramount to any agreement," said Danny Christne, "but equally important was the desire to retain JCT’s identity and autonomy to continue delivering on the long-standing commitments we have to our customers, drivers and non-driving associates.”

Pinchuk called the acquisition of the nearly 40 year old family-owned and operated business "truly an honor" and was thankful that his Dubuque, Iowa-based company was "selected by the Christner family to be entrusted with their baby. He (John) built his company on the values of hard work and a relentless pursuit of excellence, always walking the walk and delivering what he promised. We’re both driver-centric organizations that focus on taking care of our people so they can take care of our customers. We’re proud to be truckers and the roles we play in servicing our customers and feeding this great country."

The transaction is set to close early April.