Contrans acquires MacKinnon Transport

by Sonia Straface

GUELPH, Ont. – Contrans Group has acquired the assets of MacKinnon Transport – a family-owned business that has been around for close to 90 years.

The deal, which was only in the works for five-six weeks, closed on December 1. Being an asset-purchase, Contrans acquired all MacKinnon trucks, trailers, and customers.

According to Evan MacKinnon, the former president and CEO of the family business, the main reason it was purchased was due to the driver shortage and the company’s inability to hire new drivers.

“Every aspect of the business was doing amazing… linehaul margins, revenue per mile, revenue per day, per truck…it was all doing great,” he said. “The only problem we had was attracting drivers. And in the last two years, our fleet had shrunk by 35% due to driver attrition. And the inability to attract drivers was the reason, the only reason, it didn’t make practical sense for MacKinnon to be an entity on its own.”

The silver lining of the deal, said MacKinnon, other than the business operation remaining intact, is that 90% of MacKinnon employees have been offered employment with Contrans.

“With seniority intact,” he added. “Their years of service with MacKinnon will be honored by Contrans which is very honorable, seeing as we have a lot of employees with 20-30 years of service…This was the absolute best outcome for the employees because for them it’ll be the same operations department, the same customers, and the same drivers. ”

Former MacKinnon employees are now based out of the Contrans Aberfoyle location.

MacKinnon said he is happy it was ultimately Contrans to purchase the business.

“They were a great fit. They had the wherewithal to act quickly…they’re local, so it was attractive to our staff, and retaining their seniority was huge,” he said. “They’re a great organization.”

Alex MacKinnon, the company’s former COO, has accepted a position as director of sales and business development for Contrans Flatbed.

Evan said he is “between careers” for the time being.

“Obviously it’s very emotional for the MacKinnon family,” he added. “That’s all we’ve done…our lives have revolved around trucking for the past 88 years and four generations of MacKinnons…but, onward and upward.”

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  • It indeed an unhappy decision to rather than close it`s doors… to sell the family business to another carrier and hire most of the drivers…so that their jobs are secure…
    Bravo to the MacKinnon family partners…your decision was a very brave one and I salute you…………

  • Shouldn’t the title be TFI International (Tansforce) buys MacKinnon. A bit misleading to say Contrans purchased them.

  • using driver shortage as an excuse. try poor management and poor dispatching if you couldn’t get drivers its because word was getting around that mackinnon wasn’t a good company to drive for