Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Labrie No Longer Big Cheese At Con-way Freight

Change at the Top for LTL Haulage Firm
Shipping News Feature

US - CANADA - In a sudden move Con-way Freight, the less than truckload (LTL) arm of Con-way Incorporated, have announced that President John G Labrie has left the group ‘to pursue other interests’. With no further comment available from either party, and with Douglas W. Stotlar, President and CEO of the parent company taking over from Mr Labrie with immediate effect observers are saying that the move is symptomatic of an internal policy rift.

Mr Labrie is the second senior management departure recently and Mr Stotlar issued a brief statement saying:

"The management changes announced today are intended to ensure that we retain this position, and that we deliver to our shareholders, customers and employees the trust, consistent market-leading performance and sustainable value that have been the foundation of our success for nearly three decades."

Despite some recovery of late, particularly in the full truckload sector, American and Canadian hauliers are still suffering and depressed rates in the LTL sector are particularly difficult for Con-way. Smaller companies tend to lump their turnover together whereas Con-way have three operating segments, Con-way Freight, Con-way Truckload and Menlo Worldwide Logistics all taking their own positions in the market. As LTL truckers Con-way Freight are up against a slew of opposition, many of whom are possibly more competitive, and in a cutthroat sector of the domestic freight industry where volume recovery has been slow and overcapacity is still rife.

The general opinion of analysts is that Stotlar will shrink the company, shedding costs and unprofitable contracts which cannot be renegotiated whilst raising revenue wherever possible. Last year we predicted that only the collapse of a major player might resolve the problem of oversupply. The question now is has the LTL sector improved sufficiently to enable the survival of all the companies currently in the field?