Con-way, Inc. is a $ 4.2 billion freight transportation and logistics company with businesses in less-than-truckload and full truckload freight services, truckload brokerage, logistics, warehousing, supply chain management and trailer manufacturing, based in San Mateo, California (near San Francisco). Con-way’s services are used by some 400,000 customers. Its operations employ over 23,000 people.
Con-way traces its heritage to Leland James, who, in 1929 founded a small regional trucking company in Portland, Oregon. James, the son of a river pilot, had been successful operating a large retail tire business and later a private inter-city bus company in Portland. Believing that he could find more profits moving freight instead of people, he sold his previous businesses and acquired several local freight companies, and on April 1, 1929, combined them to form Consolidated Truck Lines. Unlike most trucking concerns of the day, CF began as a company rooted in the western United States, and expanded east. In 1939, the corporate name of the company was officially changed to Consolidated Freightways, Inc. By the 1990s, the company moved into other markets, starting Menlo Logistics and acquiring Emery World Airlines. CF, a union shop, was spun-off in 1996 to a standalone entity and CNF, Inc. was formed to hold Menlo, Emery, and a new less than truckload non-union firm named Con-Way. Consolidated Freightways operated for several years but ultimately filed for bankruptcy, ceasing operations on Labor Day, September 2, 2002.
Emery World Airlines had a tumultuous history. After the acquisition of Purolator and a United States Postal Service contract dispute, EWA suffered two maintenance-related crashes in the 1990s and was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration. In December of 2004, CNF sold Emery (rechristened Menlo Forwarding) to UPS for $100 million in cash and $260 million in assumed debt.
Con-way's LTL service is now called Con-Way Freight; other components are Menlo Worldwide, Con-way Truckload, Con-way Mexico, Con-way Truckload Services, and Con-way Freight-Canada.
Con-way recently acquired Contract Freighters, Inc. (CFI), a privately held North American truckload carrier based in Joplin, Mo., in a transaction valued at $750 million. Founded in 1951, CFI operates over 2,600 tractors and more than 7,000 trailers, with more than 3,000 employees including approximately 2,500 drivers that serve customers throughout North America.
Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight jointly announced the extension of Con-way Freight's partnership with the sponsorship of Wyler's No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2007 racing season. Wyler Racing also announced that three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague will be back behind the wheel of the Con-way Freight machine in 2007.
Con-way Freight now sponsors the #6 Roush-Fenway Ford in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driven by Rookie-of-the-Year contender Colin Braun.