Central Freight Lines circa 2013, when it went public.

Central Freight Lines circa 2013, when it went public.

File Photo: Central Freight Lines

Jerry Moyes is stepping in as interim president and CEO of Central Freight Lines, which he owns, as part of a transition plan to “increase focus on streamlined customer services" at the less-than-truckload carrier.

In a news release, Moyes said the move is a natural extension of where the company is headed, allowing him to focus on optimizing current LTL services while expanding product offerings to deliver more for CFL customers.

Steve Vondra will return to the company as executive vice president and COO and replace Michael Brennan. Brennan joined Central in 2018 as vice president of operations, becoming chief operating officer in July of 2019 and president this past April, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Moyes, who founded Swift Transportation in 1966, “is expected to provide a steady hand in guiding the company through these unprecedented times,” according to the announcement. In 2016, Moyes retired from Swift Transportation, a year before it merged with Knight Transportation.

Moyes said with the people and partnerships in place today, the future of the 95-year-old Waco, Texas-based carrier “looks bright. I’m excited to be behind the wheel of this company and look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities we have before us. We are excited to welcome Steve back to the company. His leadership and experience will be essential as we move forward with our strategic priorities. We are confident these recent changes will enable us to achieve our safety, service, and profitability objectives.”

Moyes became owner of CFL in 2006, when after three years as a publicly owned company, Central merged Green Acquisition Co. into Central, making Moyes and related parties the owners.

Challenging Year

“We are grateful for Michael’s contribution to CFL,” Moyes said in the announcement. “He stepped up and guided the company through a challenging period.”

Earlier this year, Central bought Volunteer Express Inc., a Tennessee-based expedited LTL and truckload carrier, saying the move would expand its footprint and services for all customers and allow it “to assume a stronger position amid industry changes including driver shortages and regulatory challenges.”

According to published reports, Central Freight Lines also this year received the maximum award of $10 million through the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program.)

This fall, there were rumors that the company was shutting down its Western operations, which the carrier said were untrue, according to published reports. Brennan explained that the company had changed its policy on volume loads as truckload capacity tightened. As it was inundated with requests to haul full truckloads, it had to take steps to make sure it didn't lock its system up with that truckload freight, because that could cause problems with serving its LTL customers.

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