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Competition Watch (November 01, 2008)

WELCOME TO COMPETITION WATCH, a new section in Motortruck Fleet Executive designed to help you keep an eye on your competitors. Come to this section every issue for the latest news on mergers and acqu...


WELCOME TO COMPETITION WATCH, a new section in Motortruck Fleet Executive designed to help you keep an eye on your competitors. Come to this section every issue for the latest news on mergers and acquisitions, new service offerings, boardroom changes and other key developments.

CHALLENGER MOTOR FREIGHT INC. plans to purchase certain assets of the special commodities business of INX PRESS CORP., an Ontario-based carrier that focuses on special-commodities transportation for heavy equipment customers. Calling the addition of the INX PRESS business “a significant moment for both our companies,” Dan Einwechter, chairman and CEO for Challenger Motor Freight, said that with the addition of INX equipment and expertise, Challenger will be expanding its special commodities division. “With the challenges in today’s trucking industry, it is often necessary and sometimes inevitable to seek out a larger carrier to provide security and diversity of service, and such is the case for INX PRESS,” said Robert Sherwood, President of INX PRESS. “I take comfort as I leave the industry knowing that both my customers and employees will be associated with a carrier of Challenger’s calibre.” INX PRESS was founded in 1988 by Robert Sherwood and is a special commodities carrier focusing on transporting heavy equipment and over-dimensional freight. The company is recognized as a preferred dedicated carrier for companies such as Volvo Construction Equipment throughout its North American facilities.

Julie Tanguay, president of L. E. WALKER TRANSPORT, has accepted the reins as the first woman to serve as chairperson of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). Tanguay won an election by board members at the OTA’s annual convention here this week. Tanguay has been helping run the family-owned trucking firm since she was 23 years old and has helped grow the company from a fleet of 30 trucks to more than 180 today. Tanguay has been an active OTA board member, though she admits it was initially intimidating. “It was pretty intimidating (coming onto the board) at first; there were all these legends of the trucking industry and then there was me, the only woman,” she recalls. “I don’t think I said a word for the first couple of years – I listened and learned – but gradually I became more comfortable, got more involved in the activities of the board, became a member of the executive committee and here I am.”

Industry veteran Vernon Erb, founder of the ERB GROUP OF COMPANIES, was presented with the Trailmobile Service to the Industry award at the Ontario Trucking Association’s convention. The award is considered to be the highest honour bestowed on a trucking executive. Erb has been trucking since 1956 and purchased his first truck in 1959. He began by hauling everything from eggs to feed, eventually settling into hauling refrigerated cargo in 1965. Over 50 years, Erb grew the fleet from one truck to more than 700 power units and 900 trailers operating out of 10 terminals in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Pennsylvania.

SYNLOGISTICS of Regina has voluntarily gone into formal bankruptcy proceedings. SynLogistics is a little more than a year old. Schneider’s Trucking purchased Prud’homme Trucks in Sept. 2007 to form the company. The new owner Don Schneider merged the dry van company with his flatdeck operation to become SynLogistics Ltd. Saskatchewan Trucking Association past-president Denis Prud’homme has taken up the cause of SynLogistics’s workforce, and has been busy placing workers with other companies.

THE MACKIE GROUP OF COMPANIES is celebrating 80 years in business, hosting a customer and supplier gala that attracted a who’s who of the industry as well as municipal, provincial and federal dignitaries. Other events were held to honour the company’s 400 employees. The Mackie Group was founded in 1928 by Charlie Mackie, who hauled lumber, produce “and just about anything he could” around South River, Ont. (near North Bay.) Charlie’s son Merle carried the torch and in 1934, his own son Ross was born. Merle dabbled in household moving in the early 40s and began trading loads with other independent household moving companies across Canada. In October, 1952, Mackie Moving Systems became part of the North American Van Lines network, a relationship that still exists today. In 1988, Mackie moved into its current headquarters just off the 401 in Oshawa. In 2003, the Mackie family continued to grow its business, opening Mackie Harley Davidson across the highway from its headquarters. The company has also added an 80,000 sq.-ft. warehouse in Mississauga and a 40,000 sq.-ft. warehouse in Montreal to its stable. It also runs 500 pieces of equipment, employs 200 drivers and offers a range of services including: warehousing and inventory management; open-and closed-vehicle transportation; high-value goods transportation; general freight hauling; trailer rentals; and commercial and household goods relocation.

For daily COMPETITION WATCH news go towww.trucknews.comor subscribe to our bi-weekly e-newsletter.


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