JOPLIN, MO – October 1, 2021– When Ursul Lewellen decided he wanted to get into trucking in 1951, little did he know that the one-truck and two-trailer Joplin-based business he launched as Contract Freighters Inc. would persevere through challenges including recessions, natural disasters, acquisitions, divestitures, and other obstacles, and 70 years later, mark a milestone that few businesses achieve.
CFI reached its 70th birthday and last week held a ceremony at its Joplin headquarters to commemorate both the milestone and the journey.
“CFI has called Joplin home since our first day in business, and we have been blessed with strong leadership and dedicated associates who have always represented our company with passion, professionalism and integrity,” said Greg Orr, who as CFI’s president follows in the steps of earlier leaders including Glenn Brown, Herb Schmidt and Saul Gonzalez. “That includes a remarkable team of fleet managers, safety and support personnel standing behind a group of professional drivers who continue to be an inspiration and are the backbone of the safe, reliable service we deliver to shippers every day.”
Today, CFI is an operating company of TFI International Inc. (NYSE and TSX: TFII), a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry. CFI marked its 70th year in business with several events:
•Delivery of its 15,000th truck from Kenworth, a 2021 Kenworth Next Gen T680. CFI bought its first company-owned truck from Kenworth in 1985
•The honoring of six exemplary CFI professional drivers, representing the nearly 2,000 CFI drivers nationwide, presenting them with custom-made trucks and trailers with special graphics highlighting their backgrounds and foundational themes of CFI’s culture. The honored drivers included:
Ricky and Mary Norman This team driving couple, who have been together since high school, received CFI’s 15,000th Kenworth tractor, a Next Gen T680 model, and will operate it nationwide. Together they have run 5.2 million miles with CFI.
Michael Woods pilots a new 2021 Kenworth T680 which is outfitted as CFI’s “First Responder” truck, the first responder series features special large-format graphics honoring emergency medical personnel, police and firefighters. He represents first responders around the country as a 22-year EMT and firefighter as well as a 19-year member of the Army National Guard.
Steve Landon, a 26-year Army veteran who served in Afghanistan as an E7 Combat Medic, also received a new Kenworth T680, this one illustrating CFI’s “True to the Troops” program honoring the nation’s active, reservist and veteran service men, women, and their families. Some 14 percent of CFI’s drivers are military veterans. CFI supports a variety of military-affiliated charities and is the national transportation sponsor for Holy Joe’s Café, which donates Green Mountain/Keurig coffee to military bases around the U.S. and 70 countries worldwide.
Les North served in the reserves from 1979 to 1982 and served active duty from 1982 to 1997. He retired as a Major from the Air Force. North drives for CFI’s Temp-Control division, a more recent addition to the CFI brand. He also received a truck with “True to the Troops” graphics.
Albert Arriola Jr. is a 28-year CFI driver with 3.3 million driving miles with CFI. He will pilot the specially logoed, commemorative CFI 70th anniversary Kenworth W990 tractor.
CFI deploys nearly 2,000 professional drivers operating a fleet of over 1,800 tractors and more than 7,000 53-foot dry-van trailers throughout the U.S. and Canada, with cross-border service to Mexico. The company also contracts with approximately 700 owner operators. In 2020, CFI amassed nearly 230 million miles delivering freight across North America, serving some of the nation’s leading commercial, industrial, manufacturing and retail businesses.
ABOUT TFI INTERNATIONAL -- TFI International Inc. is a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, operating across the United States, Canada and Mexico through its subsidiaries. TFI International creates value for shareholders by identifying strategic acquisitions and managing a growing network of wholly-owned operating subsidiaries. Under the TFI International umbrella, companies benefit from financial and operational resources to build their businesses and increase their efficiency. TFI International companies service the following segments:
•Package and Courier;
•Logistics and Last Mile.
TFI International Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TFII. For more information, visit www.tfiintl.com.
ABOUT CFI -- CFI, a wholly owned operating company of TFI International Inc., is a multifaceted leading transportation provider. Established in 1951, the truckload segment delivers time-definite 53-foot dry-van truckload transportation services. Operations in Mexico add an owned LTL network to the portfolio. CFI offers global logistics solutions to support all modes of transportation including ground transport, air freight, warehousing and intermodal with North American cross-border expertise and bilingual support.
CFI media contact: Katlin Owens, Senior Marketing Manager (417) 623-5229 ext. 25359