TORONTO, Ont. – TFI International is closing its Highland Transport truckload and intermodal operation, effective June 28.
Drivers received news of the closure through a satellite message from Terry Gardiner, vice-president of operations, which was shown to TruckNews.com.
Sources say offices have already closed in Moncton and B.C.
The message was in stark contrast to a message sent out on May 10, which said the Highland, Roadfast, and Laidlaw fleets were going to merge. All three are operated by TFI International.
“We’ve been offered jobs with Clarke (Transport) and Laidlaw, but nothing is out on paper,” said a driver who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Technically the rates are going to be different. The only perk you’re going to be getting is we will be able to carry our benefits across … your seniority, everything else is gone.”
However, Brent Neill, vice-president of human resources for TFI International in Ontario, said the shutdown was a measured process due to poor operating results at Highland.
“As a result of the poor financial results of Highland Transport, a decision was made to close it,” he told Trucknews.com. “It was not an abrupt closure. It’s been in the works for a while. We’ve been working with drivers and salaried staff. We have been working with the white collar workers, the blue collar workers and the owner-operators and offering as many as possible continued employment with other TFI divisions.”
He said many drivers and owner-operators have indicated a willingness to work for other TFI International companies.
“I’m feeling pretty confident the majority of people will be relocated (within TFI),” Neill said.
Highland was once operated by CP Trucks, the former trucking arm of Canadian Pacific. It was founded in 1967. At one time, it had more than 500 owner-operators, which has diminished to less than half that amount today, said Neill.
TFI International is Canada’s largest for-hire fleet, according to the Today’s Trucking Top 100 list. It has 2,209 straight trucks, 6,578 tractors, 26,581 trailers, 8,568 owner-operators, and 17,026 employees.