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COMPETITION WATCH: Con-Way Truckload begins operations

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Con-Way Truckload (CTL) driver teams began to officially haul transcontinental freight for the...

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Con-Way Truckload (CTL) driver teams began to officially haul transcontinental freight for the new company this week out of Birmingham, Ala., Dallas and Abilene, Tex.

Last June, Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CNF Inc. (NYSE: CNF), announced that its newest company, Con-Way Truckload, would begin operations in the first quarter of 2005.

Since the June announcement, the Memphis-based company has purchased 46 new Volvo model VN670 over-the-road tractors and 115 new 53-foot trailers. To date, 23 two-person driver teams, a management and operating staff have been hired and trained.

Initially, the new truckload carrier’s only customers will be Con-Way’s three regional less-than-truckload (LTL) companies, Con-Way Central Express, Con-Way Southern Express and Con-Way Western Express. CTL will provide linehaul service on full loads of LTL shipments moving in transcontinental traffic lanes.

“We expect the use of Con-Way Truckload will generate savings on LTL linehaul costs, but our primary focus is to ensure our LTL service standards in these longhaul lanes are met. The CTL operations will operate in tandem with our current truckload vendors giving us more assurance of truckload capacity in the tight truckload market that currently exists,” said Douglas W. Stotlar, president and chief executive officer of Con-Way.

In its first two years of operation, the company plans to add approximately 450 new jobs to Con-Way’s existing workforce of more than 19,500 employees. All drivers are company employees with contract drivers utilized as needed. As CTL builds its fleet capacity it will eventually be able to provide truckload service directly to the shipping public.

According to Clay Halla, president of CTL, “We will begin operations with several advantages a normal startup operation would not have. Three very big customers, ‘no touch loads’ for our drivers, existing Con-Way service centers, maintenance shops, professional mechanics and security personnel in addition to existing administrative support services.”

Since 1998 the Con-Way regional LTL carriers have employed truckload carriers to provide transcontinental linehaul service. According to company officials the new operation will focus on absorbing the growth in the long- haul portion of the LTL operations, which currently is above 10 per cent annually.

“We are a major customer to a select number of very good truckload carriers who we will continue to work with in 2005,” said Halla.

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