AYR, Ont. – Hyndman Transport, the Canadian division of Celadon Group, has officially opened a new 25,000 sq.-ft. terminal that was built around the needs of its drivers and staff.
The terminal sits on 12 acres, just off Hwy. 401 at Exit 268, and is located at 2616 Cedar Creek Rd. The location will allow drivers easier highway access and more home time, officials said during the grand opening today.
“When deciding to build a new facility, our main objective when we asked what do we need and what do we want, the number one thing that kept coming up was, what was going to be best for the drivers?” said Mike Campbell, president of Hyndman Transport. “We found this location right off the 401 and I don’t think you can get a better location. Drivers can come in and get out and they probably save 20 minutes from where we were in Kitchener, and that is 20 more minutes that drivers can spend with their families.”
The new building features a modern driver lounge and dorm rooms, where drivers can watch TV or take a nap. The headquarters also houses recruiting, safety, orientation, operations and administrative functions. The 15,000 sq.-ft. maintenance shop features a wash bay and loading dock, as well as six service bays. It also features both men’s and women’s technician washrooms. Even though Hyndman doesn’t currently have any female technicians on staff, the facility was built with an eye towards making it an attractive place for them to work.
Hyndman Transport was acquired by Indianapolis-based Celadon Group in 2013, which effectively doubled Celadon’s Canadian operations to about 400 trucks. It has since added Yanke Group and Hoss Cartage to its growing Canadian stable.
Paul Will, chairman and CEO of Celadon Group was on-hand to open the new facility, which he said underscores Celadon’s commitment to the Canadian market.
“We are definitely committed to the whole process of growing and stabilizing Canada,” Will said in an interview with Trucknews.com. “We wanted to continue to invest in our Canadian operations, which we view as part of our overall operations. No question, we believe having a facility like this is going to allow us to have less turnover and attract and retain the best employees.”
“We believe the future is very bright here in Canada,” added Robert Corbin, senior vice-president of business development with Celadon Group. He said the new facility will help Celadon expand its full suite of logistics operations, including dedicated and intermodal services, “not only across Canada, but across all of North America as well.”
The state-of-the-art facility was opened during a year that has seen lackluster freight growth and downward pressure on trucking rates, but Will remains optimistic the industry is on the cusp of better times.
“I think in general, when you see new truck builds go down for 12-18 months, you will start to see some pickup (in trucking rates) because capacity starts coming out,” he said.
He said a tightening of capacity will coincide with new regulations late next year and beyond, such as the mandatory use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) and speed limiters in the US.
“So I think 2016 could be a watershed year going into 2017, and I see 2017 picking up and with the regulatory changes coming in at the end of the year, the sky’s the limit for trucking,” said Will. “We are pretty bullish on the back half of 2018. Our belief is we need to be putting the right pieces of the puzzle together in terms of infrastructure and position ourselves to be really successful in 2017.”
Will said he doesn’t expect the election of Donald Trump as incoming president of the US to grind North American trade to a halt, despite his threats to existing trade agreements such as NAFTA, noting Celadon is proceeding with construction of a 51-acre facility in Laredo, Texas.
“Congress determines NAFTA, not the president. Canada is our largest trading partner. Mexico is our third largest and that is never going to change. Our belief is, let’s have that infrastructure in place to be successful long-term,” Will said.
As far as Canadian growth is concerned, Will said Hyndman is more likely to grow organically than through any major acquisitions.
“At this time, we’re going to continue to expand on what we currently have,” he said. He added the new facility will help attract drivers and a continued focus on customer service will grow business. “We don’t believe we have to do acquisitions right now,” he said. “We believe business will come to us.”
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