The Southwest, the Midwest, and the Northwest are all central to the business of Central Freight Lines, a leading regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier. (LTL carriers consolidate freight from multiple shippers into a single truckload.) The company focuses on next-day and second-day services within each of its regions. It operates a fleet of more than 1,950 tractors and nearly 8,500 trailers from a network of about 50 terminals and provides service to 49 US states. Central Freight Lines serves the rest of the US through alliances with other carriers. Trucking magnate Jerry Moyes owns the company.
Companies across the trucking industry have been hit hard by erratic fuel prices and a drop in the demand for service as the manufacturing sector slowed due to the downturn in the economy. To compensate, Central Freight raised rates nearly 6% in late 2010. The company also levies fuel surcharges based upon the national average of diesel fuel cost per gallon as issued weekly by the Energy Information Administration. Besides Central Freight, several regional LTL carriers including rival Con-Way Freight and USF Holland have pared down their number of terminals, pulling out of less profitable service areas.
Moyes, who with his family already owned 32% of Central Freight Lines, took the company private in 2006. Central Freight Lines represents only one facet of Moyes' involvement in the trucking industry -- he also owns temperature-controlled carrier Central Refrigerated Service and is the founder and executive at truckload carrier Swift Transportation.
Founded in 1925, Central Freight Lines was purchased in 1997 by a group led by Moyes. It was taken public in 2003 before being reacquired. – less