|Founded||October 10, 1966|
|Headquarters||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
Number of employees
Swift Transportation is a Phoenix, Arizona-based American truckload motor shipping carrier, part of Knight-Swift. With over 23,000 trucks, it is the largest common carrier in the United States. In 2017, Swift merged with Knight Transportation, also of Phoenix, effective September 8, 2017.
Carl Moyes was a truck driver hauling produce for C.R. England in the 1940s out of northern Utah. In the late 1950s Betty and Carl Moyes started a small trucking company in Plain City, Utah, B & C Truck Leasing. After their son, Jerry, graduated from Weber State University in 1966, they moved the small company to Phoenix, Arizona. Carl and his two sons, Ronald and Jerry (vice-president), formed the company Common Market in Arizona, that would become Swift.
The name Swift Transportation was purchased from a descendant of the Swift Meat Packing family, when the Moyes family bought the trucking assets of Swift & Company. The three Moyes family members and a fourth partner, Randy Knight, grew the business to $25 million in annual revenues by 1984. Jerry Moyes became president, chairman, and CEO that same year, and when Carl died in 1985, Jerry bought out the other two partners, his brother Ronald and Randy Knight. Ronald would continue to hold shares in Swift while Randy would become a co-founder of Knight Transportation.
By 1990, Swift Transportation had grown to a $125 million carrier with over 800 trucks. The company held an initial public offering (IPO) in 1990 and became a publicly traded entity on the NASDAQ market system under the symbol SWFT.
In a similar move, in 2001 Moyes purchased the assets of Dick Simon Trucking, which had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Those assets were rolled into Moyes's small Central Freight Lines out of Texas, and later spun off as the separate entity Central Refrigerated Service, which remained wholly owned by Moyes until its subsequent sale to and merger with Swift. That sale was announced in summer 2013, and the merger completed on February 1, 2014. Moyes received $180 million in cash for the sale.
The company's growth continued since 1988 with the purchase of eleven motor carriers throughout the United States, including M.S. Carriers, of Memphis, Tennessee in 2000. The shareholders of M.S. Carriers obtained a 22% stake in the combined company.
Moyes was soon to retire when he was forced out as chief executive officer (CEO) at Swift in October 2005 after a United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into insider trading. Without admitting or denying wrongdoing he paid a $1.26 million settlement. The Moyes family still controlled about 39% of the public stock.
In November 2006 Moyes offered to buy Swift for $29 a share. The offer was raised to $2.4 billion ($31.55 per share) for shares not controlled by the family and assumption of $332 million in outstanding debt. The transaction closed on May 10, 2007. To finance the acquisition, Moyes formed Saint Acquisition Corporation, and issued $2.1 billion of a senior secured credit facility and $835 million in second-lien senior secured notes. The company's drivers and eighty-three percent of outstanding shares (approximately half of those controlled by the family) supported the buyout.
Swift’s terminal network grew to over forty full service facilities in the continental United States and Mexico before contracting during the 2008 recession. The total number of employees dropped from 21,900, to approximately 17,700. Swift owns 100% of Trans-Mex, a Nuevo Laredo, Mexico-based carrier. Swift offers border crossing services at all major Mexican border crossings. Swift maintains a presence in every Canadian Province.
The company operated 16,200 units (12,300 tractors by company drivers and 3,900 owner-operator tractors), a fleet of 48,600 trailers, and 4,500 intermodal containers from 35 terminals in the United States and Mexico, generating just over $2.5 billion in revenue for the year ended December 31, 2009.
Swift Transportation became public again on December 16, 2010, trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company offered 73,300,000 shares at $11.00 per share, raising almost $766 million, with the proceeds used for debt reduction. The offering represented 54.9% of the company, valuing the company at $1.86 billion. Due to the economic downturn, the IPO was below Moyes leveraged-buyout (LBO) price of $17.61. With the offering the name changed from Swift Holdings Corp. to Swift Transportation Company.
Freightliner Columbia with Flatbed Spread Axle trailer
Freightliner Columbia with single drop flatbed (also known as a stepdeck) trailer
- "Knight-Swift". Knight-Swift –. 2019-02-22. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
- "It's Official And Knight-Swift Is The Largest Trucking Company In The US". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- "Truckers Swift and Knight Combine in a Deal Valued Over $5B". 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Knight, Swift officially merge after approval by shareholders". CCJ Digital. 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
- Demoss, Jeff. - "Four major trucking firms have roots in Plain City". - Ogden Standard-Examiner. - January 30, 2005. - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- About Swift: Company History Archived 2008-12-17 at the Wayback Machine. - Swift Transportation
- Harris, Craig. - "Knight's Profits On a Roll - Valley-Based Trucking Firm Again Makes 'Forbes' List". - Arizona Republic. - October 30, 2004. - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- Entrepreneurship Founders: Jerry C. Moyes. - Marriott School of Management. - Brigham Young University. In 1997 Swift bought a bankrupt Direct Transit Inc. based in South Dakota - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- "Trucking Company is Made an Offer". - Associated Press. - (c/o Richmond Times-Dispatch). - July 26, 1991. - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- "Swift and M.S. Carriers Announce Merger". - Business Wire. - (c/o Find Articles). - December 11, 2000
- "Swift Transportation shareholders approve buyout". - Deseret News. - April 30, 2007. - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- "Swift's Shareholders Vote Moyes - Longtime Transportation Firm Will Be Sold Back to Founder". - Arizona Republic. - April 28, 2007. - Retrieved: 2008-07-30
- "Sale officially concludes for Swift Transportation". - Arizona Republic. - May 11, 2007
- Swift Transportation Co., Inc.. - Hoover's
- 424B4 Prospectus. - Swift Transportation Company. - December 17, 2010.
- Cowan, Lynn (December 16, 2010). "Swift Transport Trading Flat After Pricing Below Range". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones Newswires.
- Spears, Lee & Michael Tsang (December 14, 2010). "Jerry Moyes Selling at Discount to LBO in Swift IPO". Bloomberg L.P.