Operations

Houston, Dallas Operations Create More Diverse Fleet, Locations

Posted on August 26, 2015 by - Also by this author - About the author

John and Stephanie Ferrari of AFC Transportation in Houston. John Ferrari will serve as CEO of TBL Group Inc., the newly formed owner of the merged AFC and Echo Transportation in Dallas. (LCT file photo)
John and Stephanie Ferrari of AFC Transportation in Houston. John Ferrari will serve as CEO of TBL Group Inc., the newly formed owner of the merged AFC and Echo Transportation in Dallas. (LCT file photo)

HOUSTON — Two of the biggest transportation companies in the two biggest cities of America’s second fastest growing state closed a deal Aug. 25 to form a single company weighted heavily toward all types of bus transportation.

AFC Transportation of Houston and Echo Transportation of Dallas formed a new corporate entity called TBL Group Inc., which now owns both companies. Combined, the companies will operate more than 300 vehicles, with about 250 of them ranging from all types of mini-buses to chartered motorcoaches. AFC brings 140 vehicles and Echo about 160. The combined companies would rank No. 7 on the 2015 LCT 50 Largest Fleets List.

Financial terms of the merger and estimated annual revenues of the privately held companies were not disclosed.

Under the deal, AFC and Echo will operate under their respective brands and websites, and keep all company-owned facilities and employees. TBL Group, to be headquartered in Houston, has about 500 employees.

TBL Group’s ownership structure will include five key partners: AFC CEO John Ferrari and his father, Sonny El-Lahham (Chairman) and Echo owning partners Chris Jarrard (President & COO), Tanner West (CFO), and Thom Fox (CMO), who all have seats on the new board of directors. Ferrari will serve as CEO of the combined operations.

The merger brings together a diverse network of locations, which include AFC’s operations in Houston and Jacksonville, Fla., and Echo’s operations in Dallas; the Texas cities of San Angelo, Tyler and Waco; Big Piney, Wyoming; and Alaska locations, including Anchorage.

“We’d been talking, and we approached Echo,” Ferrari told LCT about the deal. “We’d been working for a year [as affiliates] and saw it was a perfect fit of like minds, culture and strategy. In a perfect marriage, two heads are better than one; we now have five heads.”

AFC, founded in 1992, and Echo, founded in 2010, will offer the full range of chauffeured luxury vehicles and all types of buses and vans. The company includes transit and school bus vehicles. About one-third of the fleet consists of large, chartered motorcoaches.

“Even though we are similar with what we do, the way things are serviced are different,” Ferrari said. “We have different techniques and technologies. It’s a strong combination as a whole that provides clients one unified company in many different cities and states.”

TBL Group plans to grow into other U.S. locations, with a focus on expanded operations within the Texas Golden Triangle of Houston, Dallas, and Austin/San Antonio. The company has a mobile app and plans to move toward offering on-demand service next year.

Ferrari estimates that the combined operations will be based on a client breakdown of about 50% charter runs; 25% campus, school and municipality transit and shuttle work; and 25% line-runs and traditional chauffeured transportation services. Clients include Fortune 500 companies and major universities.

Major airports served include Dallas/Ft. Worth International, Love Field, George H.W. Bush Houston Intercontinental, Houston Hobby, and Jacksonville, Fla.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

LiQMeng Pampers The Seating Plan

WebXclusive: The Taiwanese company provides upfit kits that will turn a regular ride into a luxurious experience.

All In A Day's Driving For Uber

TNC Travesties of the Week: Exploiting law loopholes, treating drivers like work machines, and more sexual assaults.

Tragic Accident Illustrates Need For Party Bus Rules

Analysis: Don’t let your client's night around the city turn into a horrific event. 

Tradition Trumps Hip For Luxury Brand Love

Many companies turn to storytelling to differentiate their products, however authenticity is crucial.

In A Troubled World, Remember Why People Travel

In pursuit of the foreign, we’re often shown by comparison how much of it we have here at home.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *
LCT Magazine - November 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * iCARS Creates a New Model Of Limo Service * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close