Pacific Leasing’s aim is to become the gold standard in agriculture investment, agriculture management, and agriculture leasing on the West Coast of the United States.
1927: The Gombos family businesses began after turn-of-the-century immigrant, Nicholas Nick Gombos, came to the United States to provide a better life for his family. He did a number of jobs to support the family, but always seemed to be involved in some form a trucking company venture. Thus began flagship company Special Service Transportation which transported motion picture film between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. Special Service Transportation became successful and began hauling newspapers for the Los Angeles Examiner and Los Angeles Times with routes extending from California’s southern deserts to the northern central valley and everywhere in between. Special Service Transportation would later become Diversified Transport Systems.
1948: Michael N. Gombos Sr. took over operations of DTS on October 1, 1948. The first subsidiary was LTL carrier, Golden West Freight Lines with 9 terminals in the cities of San Diego, Garden Grove, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, San Leandro, and San Jose. Sister company, Golden West Transport, had over 100 power units and specialized in management of agricultural logistics. GWT became a major agriculture commodity carrier for almonds, carrots, tomatoes, and hay in greater Kern County and San Joaquin Valley. Other sister entities included American Warehouse and American Cartage Company which are still operating to this day. Michael’s sons, John M. and Michael N. Jr., grew-up learning the ins-and-outs of this family trucking business. While attending college, both men drove agriculture and newspaper routes and became intimately familiar with all facets of agricultural logistics, harvest cycles, trucking, cross-docking and warehousing.
1978: The DTS management team started the Logos Group as the holding company for Golden West Transport, Diversified Transport Systems, American Warehouse, and American Cartage Company. During this period, Logos Group gained valuable experience transloading hay cubes for export to Japan for a major trading company. Through Golden West Transport, Logos Group established Allied Commodities Xchange (ACX) as a processor and exporter of baled and cubed hay products to Japan. ACX would later become the largest processor and exporter of hay in the world under the direct management and leadership of John and Mike Gombos.
1988: John and Mike began a farming joint venture with Pete Taggares (Taggares Farms) in Oregon and took-over management of the alfalfa farming operations. This venture was called TACX. Over the next 5 years, TACX increased alfalfa production from 1,800 acres to over 12,000 acres (75,000 tons annually) thus producing a controlled supply of forage that contributed to ACX’s growth to become the largest exporter of forage and roughage in the industry. During more than 10 years in which John and Mike managed TACX, they honed and perfected numerous farm management disciplines including:
- Soil analysis and fertilization of fields
- Ground preparation and planting
- Seed variety determination and pounds per acre input
- Herbicide and Insecticide application for weed and insect control
- Water amounts and schedules
- Harvest equipment selection, purchase and maintenance
- Harvest crew hiring and training
- Cutting and harvesting schedules
- Storage and processing facilities and equipment
- Generally Accepted Accounting Principles related specifically to farming
1989: On behalf of angel investors, Logos Group managed subsidiary, Tycom, which specialized in management and distribution of micro tools. Tycom eventually sold to Kyocera in the mid 1990’s, bringing a 25% return to investors over a 6 year period. This venture proved the diverse and expansive ability of the Gombos brothers’ strong corporate financial aptitude and process-based management system.
Forage Export Innovations
Under the management of brothers John and Mike Gombos, ACX and the Gombos brothers became known for numerous innovations and/or improvements that would eventually become hay export industry standards.
These innovations included:
- The first nationally recognized grading system for hay
- Double compression technologies for the maximization of container weights
- Half-cutting of bales for ease of customer handling
- Unitization of bales for ease of loading and storage protection (*UNIPACX®)
- Unloading of unitized bales from sea containers (*PULL-A-PACX®)
- Private label branding for increased channel development and loyalty
- *TRUESWEET® Sudangrass, a process involving growth and harvest of a specialized sudangrass seed developed by John and Mike Gombos
2001: Pacific Leasing was formed after the reorganization of the management and holdings of Logos Group. Pacific Leasing’s main subsidiary was ACX Pacific Northwest, Inc., which later became Al Dahra ACX Global. which specialized in the export of alfalfa hay, timothy hay, sudangrass, oaten hay, and other grass hay and straw products. ACX business units included export processing facilities in Ellensburg, Washington which focused on alfalfa and timothy exports to Far East markets through the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma; Albany, Oregon which focused on exports of annual and perennial rye and fescue to Far East markets through the Port of Portland; and Wasco, California which focused on alfalfa, sudangrass, and oaten hay exports to Far East markets through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
2007: Pacific Leasing reestablished ACX Intermodal as a subsidiary of ACX Pacific Northwest to specialize in outbound logistics from its Wasco business unit. ACX Intermodal eventually became the in-house trucking arm for Hyundai for inbound port drayage for the Sears distribution center located in Shafter, California. These “street-turns” allowed for reduced freight costs through increased logistical efficiency for Hyundai, Sears, and ACX.
2008: As forage export markets in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan began to mature, Pacific Leasing redoubled ACX marketing efforts by shifting to web-based marketing in an effort to automate processes and reach customers in the emerging Far East markets of China and Vietnam and the emerging Middle East market of United Arab Emirates. The ACX website launched numerous online applications including “**LogistACX” for customer tracking of booking information, “**STACX” for grower tracking of agriculture sales contracts to ACX, and “POP,” or Purchase Opportunity Pictures, for online marketing of products to overseas customers.
2009: Pacific Leasing’s web-based marketing efforts led directly to a long-term joint venture with Al Dahra Agriculture Company in the UAE with annual gross revenues exceeding USD $200,000,000 within three years. While the Ellensburg, Washington business unit remained intact, the Wasco business unit was relocated to Stockton, California. Pacific Leasing and Al Dahra Agriculture Company opened a new business unit in Wilmington, California on Pacific Coast Highway for direct access of legal, overweight export containers to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
2011: Through Pacific Leasing’s joint venture with Al Dahra Agricultural Company, and under the direct management of John and Mike Gombos, ACX Pacific Northwest was awarded the Presidential “E” Award for Exports at a White House ceremony in Washington D.C. John and Mike humbly accepted the award which was handed to them by then Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson. The Presidential “E” Award is the highest award given to any privately held company by the United States government.
2012: Pacific Leasing and Al Dahra Agriculture Company, under the direct management of John and Mike, started ACX subsidiary Al Dahra Farms USA which became the largest subsurface drip irrigation alfalfa farm in the United States with over 5,000 owned or controlled alfalfa acres. Its systems and processes were designed to control all factors related to traceability of product from seed to harvest to market and ensure compliance with any overseas phytosanitary, GMO, or other PPQ regulation.
Through Al Dahra Farms USA, Pacific Leasing honed its agricultural management skills on a global basis with the ability to manage farms, logistics, and marketing from “cradle to grave,” meaning, locate the dirt, perform the due diligence, establish the water rights, develop and manage the farm, and market the products whether alfalfa or row crops, overseas or domestic.
Pacific Leasing is able to assemble teams quickly and efficiently. In the case of Al Dahra Agriculture, Pacific Leasing took a company as a management group and assembled a team and setup the systems and processes that built a company from 30M to 200M in 3 years. Pacific Leasing is sincerely thankful to Al Dahra Agriculture and its Vice Chairman and Managing Director Khadim Al Darei for the opportunity and honor to be Joint Venture partners for over five years and the chance to hone our capabilities and broaden our perspective in the management of large-scale agriculture projects on the global level.
Contact Pacific Leasing Today for more information.
*UNIPACX®, PULL-A-PACX®, and TRUESWEET® are registered trademarks of Al Dahra ACX Global, Inc. which is wholly-owned by Al Dahra Agricultural Company LLC based in the United Arab Emirates.
**LogistACX and STACX are unregistered web-based applications created by the Pacific Leasing LLC marketing team for Al Dahra ACX Global.