A Pasco company specializing in hauling chemicals, de-icers, pesticides and more has a new ownership group led by the insurance agent who covered its business for decades.
Chad Messerly and his partners, Brian May and Morgan Haynes, bought Harms Pacific Transport Inc. in a deal that closed July 1.
The sellers were the transportation company’s longtime owners, Gary Marquard and Steve Dilley, who both retired.
Messerly and his wife moved to Richland from Montana to manage the company he’d admired in his 21 years as its insurance agent. Messerly and May, a trucking industry veteran, and Haynes, an accountant, don’t intend to change Harms Pacific, but are looking for growth opportunities.
“We do want to do some expansion,” Messerly said.
Harms, established in 1926, employs nearly 50 and operates a fleet of tank haulers, as well as a tank farm and rail spur on 3220 Glade North Road, north of Pasco. It accepts rail shipments of liquid products such as petroleum products, chemicals and airplane de-icer. It transfers them from rail cars its own tank farm and from tanks to its own tankers and to customers’ as well.
It is licensed to operate in seven western states and parts of Canada.
It also operates washing facilities for both rail cars and tankers.
Simplot and Alaska Air are two of its best-known customers.
Messerly is a longtime insurance agent who spied an opportunity to join the industry he covered when Marquard and Dilley decided to retire. He joined Stieg & Associates in August 1999 and focused on providing insurance services to Northwest trucking companies from its office in Billings, Montana.
Harms Pacific was a longtime customer.
Stieg & Associates specializes in transportation companies, affiliating more with its customers than the insurance industry.
“We felt we could help our clients out more if we understood what they did, how they did it,” Messerly said.
When Marquard and Dilley informed Stieg & Associates they were looking to retire and would miss seeing their insurance agent, he jumped at the opportunity.
Messerly asked the pair if they’d be interested in selling the business to him and his partners.
They asked how he would run it and were happy with the answer: We’d run it as it is.
They began the lengthy process of brokering a deal, which took several years before it closed.
“If anyone thinks it’s going to happen in a hurry...,” he said.
The land deal included 25 acres sold in two parcels for about $2.48 million, according to Franklin County property records. Terms of the asset sale were not disclosed.
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