Con-way Inc. traces its history to Leland James, who, in 1929, founded a small regional trucking company in Portland, Oregon, named Consolidated Truck Lines. The company enjoyed great success through expansion and acquisition, and was later renamed Consolidated Freightways (CF).
James’ company would experience a number of changes over the course of time, including when, in 1983, the corporation known as Con-way Transportation Services was founded. The following provides an overview of the company’s successes and changes throughout its history. Read the complete story.
Facing pressures from oil embargos and union labor costs, the trucking industry was thrust into deregulation toward the end of the 1970s. CF took this opportunity to expand its business to include air freight and trailer manufacturing.
Con-way was created to provide nonunion, regional short-haul service in markets where CF wasn’t actively selling its services. The regional companies Con-way Central Express (CCX), Con-way Western Express (CWX) and Con-way Eastern Express (CEX) were established as part of this strategy.
CF, Inc. launched Menlo Logistics in mid-1990 to broaden its service portfolio beyond less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation, and to capitalize on the growing trend of bundled logistics services. Menlo was among the first of a new breed of integrated logistics companies.
The Truckload division was launched to more efficiently manage Con-way’s hub-to-hub freight network across its regional companies. This new subsidiary provided linehaul service on full loads of LTL shipments moving in transcontinental traffic lanes.
Con-way, formerly CNF, Inc., underwent a corporate rebranding process, and the new name, Con-way Inc., was officially introduced on April 19, 2006. On May 5, 2006, the new ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange became CNW.
Menlo purchased Cougar Holdings Pte Ltd. and Chic Holdings Ltd. in 2007. Singapore-based Cougar expanded Menlo’s operational scope in Southeast Asia, and Shanghai-based Chic gave Menlo a pan-China presence. These two acquisitions vaulted Menlo into a major Asian logistics company.
The acquisition of CFI gives Con-way a major presence in truckload freight. Today, the Truckload division operates more than 2,600 tractors and 7,000 trailers, with more than 3,000 employees, including 2,500 drivers.
Con-way will celebrate 25 years in less-than-truckload freight transportation in 2008. An enterprise-wide anniversary celebration is planned to mark the occasion.
Named FORTUNE magazine’s "Most Admired Company" in transportation and logistics for 2007, Con-way delivers industry-leading services through its primary operating companies of Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload, and Menlo Worldwide Logistics. These operating units provide industry-leading regional, inter-regional and national less-than-truckload (LTL); logistics, warehousing and supply chain management services; as well as full truckload freight transportation to the best companies across North America and around the globe. Con-way and its subsidiaries operate from more than425 locations across North America and in 20 countries across five continents.