In a move to bolster its long-haul LTL services, Con-way Freight Inc. is combining its three regional operating companies into a single operation. The company has also announced a revamped executive team that will join the carrier’s newly named president, John G. Labrie, in running the centralized operations from headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI.
The three regional carriers – Con-way Freight Central, Con-way Freight Southern and Con-way Freight Western – were created 24 years ago to take advantage of growth in regional markets and have been operated with individual pricing models and practices, according to parent company Con-way Inc.
“Over the past two years, they’ve made good inroads in those regional markets, but there’s limited growth there and the best customers also want to ship nationally and internationally,” said industry analyst Martin Labbe.
“It’s important to provide them with full-line service because they usually represent long-term LTL contracts with high levels of service and good rates,” he told Fleet Owner. “The ability to provide extended services may be critical to retaining customers. I don’t see them losing regional strength (with the consolidation), just adding long-haul capability.”
Operational and administrative efficiencies from the combined fleets could also be considerable, Labbe added.
Just last month, Con-way moved to strengthen its long-haul operations by acquiring the truckload carrier Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI) for $750- million. The largest LTL carriers commonly use truckload units to move long-haul freight between terminals, a capability that Con-way lacked before the acquisition.
Con-way estimates the reorganization will cost between $12- and $16-million.The executive team named to run the consolidated Con-way Freight operation with Larbie includes: David L. Miller, COO; Michael D. Yuenger, vp finance; J. Edwin Conaway, exec. vp sales; Sean M. Devine, vp engineering; Manoj Chopra, vp pricing; and Scott J. Engers, vp employee relations.