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TFI folding US truckload, dedicated operations into CFI

Transport America absorbed and rebranded; former UPS Freight dedicated division to join in 2022

CFI is now TFI's flag-bearer for its U.S. truckload business. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

TFI International is consolidating its U.S. truckload and dedicated trucking operations under the umbrella of its Missouri-based carrier CFI, which has already absorbed Transport America — with the small dedicated operation of former UPS Freight to follow in 2022. 

CFI announced the changes on Monday as part of an expansion and reorganization. It also includes a new temperature-controlled division from TFI’s acquisition of MCT. 

The newly expanded CFI has a fleet of over 3,700 power units, which will likely grow to over 4,300 when the former UPS Freight — rebranded as TForce Freight — dedicated operation is integrated in January. CFI President Greg Orr, who also oversees TFI’s (NYSE:TFII) U.S. truckload operations as an executive vice president, remains at the helm.

Both Transport America and TForce Freight dedicated are being rebranded as CFI.

The moves to consolidate TFI’s U.S. truckload business came as little surprise. TFI CEO Alain Bédard told financial analysts in October about the company’s plans to integrate Minnesota-based Transport America and TForce Freight dedicated into CFI, with the aim of improving performance.

“CFI’s business has always performed really well,” Bédard said. “The problem was always with TA. It’s always been an issue. And now UPS truckload is even worse than TA because of the way the company was managed with the previous management team.”

CEO: UPS Freight dedicated ‘a disaster of a division’

The dedicated truckload business represented less than 10% of TFI’s $800 million acquisition of UPS Freight, which is predominantly an LTL operation. Though small, the dedicated business was perhaps the most problematic part, according to Bédard. 

“The UPS truckload division that we got with the acquisition of UPS Freight was a disaster of a division because it’s a dedicated division and the pricing with the customer didn’t make sense,” Bédard said.

TFI had already been moving Transport America’s over-the-road drivers to CFI ahead of consolidation. The former Transport America dedicated division will be merged with TForce Freight, which has around 700 drivers, forming the dedicated division within CFI. 

This follows a move by Transport America to shift a larger portion of its trucking operations into dedicated services, with the hopes of attracting more drivers and shippers. 

As part of the effort, TFI is aiming to reduce overhead costs. Bédard told analysts the new CFI would be “doing more with less people,” though he didn’t say where those personnel cuts might be.

TFI acquired CFI from XPO in 2016 for $558 million. Until UPS Freight, it had been TFI’s largest acquisition to date.

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  1. Wolfgang Holst

    +This is strikingly familiar when Delta Lines, California Motor Express, Thunderbird Freight Lines, Hopper Truck Lines, and ONC were all merged into MacLean Truck Lines. In 1986, our foreign owner shut all of us down and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

  2. Tom Benusa

    Alain Bedard has a bad memory. Or he’s a spin expert. TFI bought TA before CFI, and they bought TA because it was performing very well. No one forced TFI to purchase TA. When TFI bought (and overpaid) CFI from XPO, they spent the next 2 years flying people from MN down to MO to try and help CFI stop from bleeding money. Alain….really??? Some things are always bad but it wasn’t the TA management team as you suggested.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]