United Parcel Service Inc. agreed to buy Coyote Logistics from private-equity firm Warburg Pincus for $1.8 billion to expand in truckload freight and help ease peak- season congestion.

Acquiring a freight broker such as Coyote, which doesn’t have its own vehicles, is a departure for Atlanta-based UPS. The world’s largest package-delivery company operates a fleet of 100,000 vehicles spanning trucks to motorcycles.

Coyote arranges freight shipments through a network of more than 35,000 trucking companies, which would be a boost in managing holiday business, UPS said Friday. The crush of orders ahead of Christmas has proved difficult to gauge accurately in the past two years. UPS said it expects the deal to close in 30 days.

Some other recent logistic deals include Warburg Pincus-backed Mercator buying Catapult Internationalin June for undisclosed terms and Apax Partners acquiring Quality Distribution Inc. (Nasdaq: QLTY) in May for $800 million. 

The purchase would give UPS a foothold in an area where it’s been lacking, and follows a pattern of transportation companies offering many types of services, according to William Blair & Co. analyst Nate Brochmann.

“With better technology and visibility into supply chains today, there are now more opportunities for transportation providers to be one-stop shops,” Brochmann wrote in a July 23 note after Bloomberg reported that talks on an acquisition were under way.

Coyote had annual revenue of $2.1 billion in 2014, compared with UPS’s $58.2 billion. Warburg Pincus first invested in the Chicago-based company in 2007.

The transaction would be the third-largest logistics deal this year as the industry consolidates amid rising consumer demand. In April, FedEx Corp. agreed to buy Dutch delivery company TNT Express NV for $4.8 billion. Days later, XPO Logistics Inc. agreed to acquire France’s Norbert Dentressangle SA in a deal valued at $3.53 billion including debt.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is representing UPS and Kirkland & LLP is representing Warburg Pincus

Demitri Diakantonis contributed to this report

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