Mullen Group has acquired Chicago-area 3PL QuadExpress for $40 million in a deal that gives one of Canada’s largest trucking and logistics companies its first U.S.-based operation.  

Mullen (TSX:MTL) bought QuadExpress from Wisconsin-based commercial printing company Quad (NYSE:QUAD). The 3PL primarily operates as a freight brokerage and generated $135 million in revenue in 2020, Mullen said on Wednesday

Alberta-based Mullen Group, which operates trucking, logistics and oil services businesses from Ontario to British Columbia, has pointedly avoided U.S. acquisitions in contrast to competitors such as TFI International. But CEO Murray Mullen said, “There are limits to just how much we can grow in the Canadian market. 

“The U.S. market, on the other hand, is a new market for our company, offering tremendous opportunity,” Mullen said in a statement. “There is no doubt the U.S. market is key to the North American supply chain and we need to be there. With this acquisition, we gain immediate access to one of the largest markets in the world.”

As part of the deal, Mullen Group also acquired SilverExpress, QuadExpress’ proprietary transportation management system, which it “uses to align customer shipments” with carriers. 

Quad also will continue to use QuadExpress’ 3PL services as part of the deal. 

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