SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Two-dozen much-needed trucking jobs are rolling into South Dakota from Iowa. The Sioux Falls company K & J Trucking finalized a deal this past week to purchase the Sioux City-based Midwest Continental.

Charles Carson’s 7-year trucking career has taken a new turn, moving from Sioux City’s Midwest Continental, Inc. to K & J Trucking in Sioux Falls. Carson doesn’t expect a big learning curve with his new company.

“It’s just learning their loads, what they’re expecting of me and where I need to go,” Carson said.

K & J says Midwest Continental’s owner is selling her company because she’s retiring. The sale started in motion with a chance phone call.

“It so happened the owner called me and wanted to discuss how we run our computer program and at the end of the conversation, she said when you’re ready to buy somebody, give me a call and so she was kind of ready for us to work with,” K & J Trucking President & CEO Shelley Koch said.

K & J Trucking will take over Midwest Continental’s fleet of 25 trucks, along with its 24 drivers.

“And all of those things today are kind of hard to find. Equipment is difficult because of all the supply chain issues and getting parts. Drivers have always been, we’ve talked many times about the driver shortage,” K & J Trucking President & CEO Shelley Koch said.

Consolidation has been a driving force in the trucking industry for several years now. But when companies change hands, that can add to some uncertainty for employees who are impacted by such a move.

“I don’t think any of us in the country like consolidation, because more competition is better than less competition. But we’re going from 100 to 125 or 130 trucks, I don’t think we’re a big threat out there,” Koch said.

K & J Trucking says smaller, family-run businesses need to grow to stay competitive. And the new drivers coming here, like Carson, will help make that happen.

“I keep telling K & J where’s my truck? I want to go,” Carson said.

Consolidation within the trucking industry is expected to slow down as interest rates rise, making it more difficult for companies to finance future deals.