Con-way Inc. is the new corporate name for CNF, which was officially retired from the books after shareholders approved the re-branding initiative at the company's April 18 annual meeting. The CNF symbol on the New York Stock Exchange has been replaced with CNW.
The Con-Way master brand, along with new colors and a new logo, encompasses all former CNF companies. The regional LTL trucking subsidiaries, previously known as Con-Way Western Express, Con-Way Central Express and Con-Way Southern Express, have been converted to the single Con-way Freight name. Con-Way Canada Express has become Con-way Freight-Canada. The regional carriers will continue to be organized and operated as they were before, providing primarily next-day and second-day LTL service throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The new Con-way Transportation unit includes Con-way Forwarding (formerly Con-Way Air), Con-way Expedite and Brokerage (formerly Con-Way Now and Con-Way Full Load), Con-way Truckload and Road Systems trailer manufacturing.
Menlo Worldwide, a third-party logistics company, will continue to operate with that name, though the tag line "a Con-way company" will be added. Menlo's joint venture with General Motors, Vector SCM, also will retain its name within the Con-way master brand. Edward P. Moritz, vice president of marketing, says the Menlo name likely will be phased out over time, pending resolution of global trademark issues and requirements. "Protecting the Menlo brand equity will be our first priority," he says.
Moritz says the company decided on the Con-way name because market research showed that it is associated with "elite" service and ranks well against both national brands and regional players. In addition, Con-way has a large customer base so there is a strong foundation of awareness and tremendous goodwill already in place. "We wanted to focus the market on a known, respected service name and eliminate confusion over previous multiple names," he says. Other objectives of the re-branding, he says, were to promote a common face to the customer, create a clear competitive differentiation, promote increased recognition and align employee, shareholder and customer interests under one brand.
The re-branding is in line with major changes at the organization over the past 18 months, Moritz says. In late 2004, CNF sold Menlo Forwarding to concentrate on its two core businesses and in early 2005 Doug Stotlar was named CEO. "One of my first objectives was to 'flatten' the organization, reconnect our corporate functions with the business units and remove barriers so that we could move toward a more streamlined, single operating company focus," Stotlar said in his 2006 letter to shareholders. While there is still work to do, he said, "best practices are being identified and shared ... (and we are) uncovering market opportunities to join Menlo and Con-way in unique ways for the customer."
The changes appear to be working. CNF posted strong results for 2005, reporting net income of $221m compared with $142m in 2004. Revenue for 2005 rose to $4.2bn, a 12 percent increase over 2004's revenue of $3.7bn. Operating income was $371m, an increase of 30 percent from $282m in 2004.
Con-way Inc. is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. The new logo will be incorporated on truck graphics and facility signs in a phased rollout.
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