CanadaLess than TruckloadNews

An Optimal acquisition: asset-player CFI buys non-asset-player Optimal Freight

Joplin, Missouri-based Contract Freighter Inc (CFI) will “assume responsibility” for Chicago-based freight transport company, Optimal Freight, at the start of the New Year. Financial details of the transaction are not available at the time of writing.

Optimal will lose its identity and will be re-badged as part of CFI.

Commenting on the deal, CFI President, Greg Orr, said that the timing for the transaction is “ideal as CFI expands its logistics division and customer service offerings.”

Optimal is a non-asset based player, relying on contracted carriers, to operate in the truckload, partial and LTL sectors in the US, Canada and Mexico. It offers services in the dry van segment, flat bed shipments, temperature controlled, expedited freight and over-dimensioned cargo markets. The company was founded by Noam Frankel in March 2011.

CFI, unlike Optimal, is an asset-based player, offering short-haul (less than 600 miles), dry van, temperature controlled transport and flatbed transport among others. Other services offered include air freight (package to full charter), spot and long-term warehousing, and national intermodal transport. It has 2,800 power units, 500 contractors and 7,000 trailers, five terminal locations and more than five drop yards. CFI also offers intra-Mexican and north-south transport from Mexico to the US and Canada via Guadalajara-based CFI Logistica.

CFI is part of TFI International Group, a Toronto Stock Exchange listed company. Saint-Laurent headquartered TFI is a conglomerate of approximately 50 freight companies. Together, they cover a diverse range of areas including last mile logistics, logistics, conventional and specialised trucking, intermodal, over-the-road, and package-and-courier services.

TFI’s third quarter results (announced late October 2018), revealed that the company had achieved a second straight quarter of “record” operating results, which was “driven by strength across all segments,” according to Alain Bédard, president and CEO. Total revenues in the nine months ended September 30 stood at US$3.8bn, up 4.3% from the US$3.64bn recorded in the prior corresponding period in 2017. Net income increased markedly to stand at US$235m, up 97.1% from the US$137.9m recorded in the 2017 prior corresponding period. The company attributed the increase in net income to stronger operating income and to the impairment of intangible assets of US$138.4m net of tax.

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Jim Wilson, Australia Correspondent

Sydney-based journalist and photojournalist, Jim Wilson, is the Australia Correspondent for FreightWaves. Since beginning his journalism career in 2000, Jim has primarily worked as a business reporter, editor, and manager for maritime publications in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. He has won several awards for logistics-related journalism and has had photography published in the global maritime press. Jim has also run publications focused on human resources management, workplace health and safety, venture capital, and law. He holds a degree in law and legal practice.