The merged firm, to be called Knight-Swift, will have a holding-company structure while maintaining the distinct brands, according to a statement Monday.
The deal would help Knight and Swift take on their competitors amid plunging orders for some companies like Volvo Trucks North America. The rise of e-commerce is also changing their industry, as volumes and costs rise to meet new demand for home delivery.
The two companies earned about $5.1 billion in total revenue and $416 million in adjusted operating income last year. The companies expect to achieve about $15 million in cost-saving synergies and pretax revenue in the second half of 2017, and up to $150 million in 2019.
"By coming together under common ownership, the companies will be able to capitalize on economies of scale to achieve substantial synergies," Richard Dozer, Swift's chairman, said in a statement.
Knight's CEO, Dave Jackson, will become chief executive of the merged company. Knight-Swift will have 23,000 tractors and employ 28,000 people.
Swift shares gained as much as 14% in premarket trading after the news.
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