Head Office 800-263-8267

Maritime Division 800-561-9040

About Us

Our origins date back to 1924 when Robert A. Laidlaw purchased an 18 can milk route utilizing a 1918 Reo stake truck. The following year Mr. Laidlaw acquired the first 6 cylinder Reo truck to be brought into Canada to support his expansion to mixed freight. By 1929, Laidlaw Transport Ltd. had grown to 3 units and in 1930 they acquired their first tractor/trailer unit. In 1931, the establishment of the Canadian Gypsum Company with a plant in Hagersville and Laidlaw contracted to deliver their products throughout a major portion of Ontario. By 1950, there were 30 Laidlaw units in operation.


In 1959, when Mr. Laidlaw retired, Michael DeGroote acquired the Laidlaw business. Since the age of 18, Mr. DeGroote had operated his own haulage business in the Delhi area. Under his direction, Laidlaw began down a diversification and planned growth path through a series of acquisitions over the next two decades.

In 1969, Laidlaw made trucking history by going public on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges gaining recognition in Canada’s financial circles.

With an enhanced financial base, Laidlaw continued its expansion by acquiring companies over the next decade. In 1985, Laidlaw Transportation Ltd. sold the eastern trucking operation to Contrans Corp. This operation had grown to 550 Company and Owner-Operator units with annual Revenue approaching $70 million. The Contrans head office was based in Hamilton, Ontario and later relocated to its present location in Woodstock, Ontario.

In 1990, Contrans divisionalized its core businesses into Van, Bulk, Tank and Flatbed groups, later enhancing the business portfolio with controlled growth in the Waste Transportation and Logistics segments.

Today Contrans has evolved into one of the largest trucking companies in Canada with over 1,400 power units and 2,500 trailers.

To learn more about the history and financial stability of our parent company Contrans, click here.


Following divisionalization, the Van group grew through internal growth as well as several acquisitions including Sure-Way Transport Ltd., Brookville Carriers Inc., Christie Transport Inc., Tri-Line Freight Systems, Clark Transportation, KTS and MacKinnon Transport’s Van division.

Laidlaw's Van division has built its reputation as a quality carrier with safety and customer service as our primary focus. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our valued customers with diverse, flexible, and reliable transportation solutions from our strategically located terminals in both Ontario and Saint John, New Brunswick.

At the beginning of 2013, the average age of our tandem and quad axle vans is less than two years old. Most are equipped with aero dynamic side skirts, disc brakes and FDA approved interiors. All of our company power units are also less than 2 years old and are equipped with disc brakes. Our entire fleet, including our owner operators, is equipped with the latest in satellite tracking and onboard scanners.

We offer freight management solutions for truckload, less than truckload in specific lanes, hazardous and dangerous goods, heated service, a specialized dedicated service board and other freight management solutions utilizing our extensive partner carrier network.

We are at the forefront of cross-border transportation, having been selected by CBSA and CBP to be an early adaptor to their ACE and ACI programs. Our customers and drivers significantly benefit from the services provided by our in-house 24/7 Customs Support Centre. By utilizing in-cab scanners, our drivers can immediately communicate with our support centre for timely processing and registry with both U.S. and Canada Customs. We maintain C-TPAT, CSA, PIP and FAST certifications.

We are Laidlaw... Quality Driven