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TFI International Inc (TFII) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

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TFII earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2021.

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TFI International Inc (TFII 2.00%)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
Apr 29, 2021, 8:30 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to TFI International's First Quarter 2021 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Before we turn the call over to the management, please be advised that this conference call will contain several statements that are forward-looking in nature and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Also, as a reminder, TFI changed its presentation currency at year-end, and all dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars. Lately -- lastly, I would like to remind everyone that this conference call is being recorded on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

I will now turn the conference over to Alain Bedard, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of TFI International. Please go ahead, sir.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you very much for the introduction, operator, and I'm pleased to welcome everyone to this morning's call. Yesterday, after the market closed, we released our first 2021 results -- first quarter 2021 results. So TFI International had an exceptionally strong quarter to begin the new year, a quarter that marked the 1-year anniversary of our listing on the New York Stock Exchange. During the height of the pandemic, we made the right moves to preserve our long-term growth opportunities and we are beginning to see the benefits. We maintain a relentless focus on the fundamentals of the business and on getting the details right. We look for opportunities to enhance efficiencies as we do in good times and bad. And as always, we look to increase returns on invested capital, optimize our free cash flow and grow our earnings per share. This, in turn, placed us in a position of strength with a strong financial profile that allows us to strategically expand our business with the ultimate goal of creating long-term shareholder value and returning excess capital to shareholders whenever possible.

The identification of strategic accretive acquisition opportunities is another important part of our strategy. In a highly disciplined manner, we have continued to selectively seek acquisition candidates that are both accretive and strategic to extend TFI International's long and successful track record growth through M&A. As you know, in January, we announced an agreement to acquire UPS Freight in one of the most strategic transaction in our company's history. The acquisition immediately propels TFI International to become one of the five largest North American LTL carrier. It will strengthen our service offering, accelerate our strategic expansion across the U.S. and fortify our ongoing relationship with UPS. This transaction is on track to close this quarter.

Now let's turn to our first quarter results, that includes strong year-over-year growth in both revenue and operating income despite very solid results a year ago. Our total revenue for the quarter -- for the first quarter at $1.1 billion was up a very robust 24% compared to the prior year's first quarter, again, despite much of the prior year's quarter being before the pandemic. Just as important to us, given our focus on profitability and despite significant onetime item, I'll discuss, our operating income grew 17% to $102 million and our adjusted EPS on a diluted basis expanded 26% to $0.77. Our net cash from operating activities was $155 million, up 13% over the prior year.

As you know, we consider the strong cash flow to be strategically important, allowing us to invest in our business and seek out attractive expansion opportunities. Regarding those onetime items, the first relates to the mark-to-market of our cash sale director shares unit, or DSUs, due to the rise in our share price during the first quarter. This had a $0.07 impact on our adjusted diluted EPS, which was further impacted by $0.01 share of transaction expense related to the acquisition of UPS Freight. In total, that's $0.08 of combined onetime cost. Let's now take a more granular look at the operating results for each of our four segments, all of which contributed to our strong overall performance. Starting with our Package and Courier. P&C represents 13% of total segment revenue and saw a 26% increase in revenue before fuel surcharge versus the prior year. Operating income of $18.3 million expanded an even greater 58% and with an operating margin of 13.9%, up 200 basis -- 280 basis points. This strong growth was driven by improved yields on both B2C and B2B activity, which have continued to rebound this year.

We're pleased with our more balanced mix of B2C and B2B following the pandemic, and see additional growth opportunities ahead. Our LTL segment, also 13% of total segment revenue -- generated revenue before fuel surcharge of $132 million, essentially flat compared to the prior year quarter. While demand is still feeling the effect of the pandemic, most important to us, our LTL operating margin expanded more than 700 basis points to 16.8% from the less than 10% a year earlier. Driving a nearly 70% increase in operating income to $22.1 million. This strong growth in operating income benefited from strategic consolidation in our over-the-road operation as well as a $2.7 million contribution from the Canadian Wage Subsidy. Next is our Truckload segment, which represents 41% of total segment revenue. Revenue before fuel surcharge was up 7% year-over-year, while operating income was up 8% to $50 million, reflecting a slightly higher operating margin of 11.8%.

Our growth in this segment was driven mainly by business acquisition as well as strong spot pricing and tight capacity in U.S. market, offset by severe winter weather. Within Truckload, our U.S. operations saw a 1% decline in revenue before fuel surcharge, while our Canadian operation grew 6%, and our Specialized business grew 13%. We also had a $2.7 million overall benefit from the Canadian Wage Subsidy. Rounding out our business segments, Logistics represent 33% of total segment revenue. Our revenue before fuel surcharge jumped nearly 90%, driven by e-commerce strength in Canada as well as acquisition over the past year. Our operating margin -- our operating income was up 52% to $29.1 million, reflecting a margin of 7.7%. Now turning to our balance sheet. It remains a significant source of strength for TFI International, that allows us to execute our growth plan by making disciplined investment, both in organic growth and attractive M&A opportunities.

Our strong free cash flow of $143 million allows us to end the quarter with more than $1.3 billion of liquidity benefiting from January's private placement of $500 million in senior notes, which also substantially extend maturities to between eight and 15 years at fixed rate. Lastly, I wish to provide our outlook for the year. A range, which include a range of $3.80 to $4 of earnings per share and $475 million to $525 million of free cash flow. In addition, despite the anticipated closing of the UPS Freight acquisition, we expect our leverage to remain below two times next quarter and for the rest of '2021. Please note that this leverage calculation refers to the funded debt-to-EBITDA ratio as calculated in accordance with our debt covenants and as set forth in our quarterly MD&A. In summary, the past 12 months have been like no others. But at TFI International, we stuck to our game plan throughout. We focus on the fundamentals of the business to maximize profitability and cash flow. And we carefully consider capital allocation to further enhance value. The economic outlook remains fluid, but you can rest assure that we will stick to our approach no matter what the future holds. Today, we're in the best position in our company's history, and the pending acquisition of UPS Freight will make us even stronger. Together, we look to create additional shareholder value by constantly driving efficiencies and focusing on profitable growth.

Ultimately, our goal is to create and unlock shareholder value, returning excess capital to our shareholders whenever possible. And with that, operator, if you could please open up the lines for Q&A?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And your first question is from the line of Scott Group with Wolfe Research.

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Hey thanks, Morning Alain. Can you just walk us through some of the revenue and margin expectations for each of the segments within the guidance? And just clarify if you're including UPS Freight in that guidance or not?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Yes. Well, absolutely. So for sure, UPS Freight is included in the guidance, OK, let's say, for about seven months. But if you remember, I mean, the profitability of UPS Freight is very limited, OK? And so yes, it's in there, OK, that's for sure. Now in terms of the rest of our business. I mean, what we see so far, if you look at our P&C, revenues up, OK, was up about 20% in Q4. The same thing in Q1. And we anticipate the year to be probably in the same kind of fashion. So our P&C, we see a lot of organic growth in there. And as you could always take a look when you look at the results, it shows also on the operating earnings. LTL, excluding the acquisition of UPS Freight, we believe that the revenue is going to be flat, OK? But the profitability will stay on the same kind of neighborhood profitability that you see now because we're more about making money than chasing volume. That's a religion at TFI.

Then if you look at the U.S. TL, we think that Q1 was a little bit of a disappointment in a sense that February was tough for us. But when we look at the rest of the year, we see that the situation should keep improving. Same story for a Canadian truckload on our specialty truckload. On the Logistics side, I mean, the acquisition of DLS last year was a major plus for us. We're still working to unhook ourselves from the previous owner through the TSA that we have with them. Probably, it should be done by the summer. And then we believe that the overhead should reflect a more better, efficient cost basis, I could say. Now all in all, this is why we feel pretty good about the $3.80 to $4 of EPS in the rest of -- for the total 2021 year.

Again, this is based on what we know today about the UPS Freight contribution, which is minimal, OK? It also reflects above a USD325 million of capex, which is way more than we normally would do because there, again, we're investing more dollars into the UPS fleet than would be normally done, right? So it's still a conservative, I think, forecast that we have for the year in terms of EPS and free cash flow. But the -- also the important thing is our leverage, will stay under 2, even with the acquisition of UPS and when we say under 2, it's probably like more like 1.75 to 2. two being maximum, we're not going to get there, to 2, right? So we feel really good about 2021, what we can do about that. But there again, I mean, we still have to close this transaction with UPS, which we anticipate is going to be really soon.

And then Paul and his team over there at UPS Freight, I mean, they're fully, fully aware of the plan, what we want to do, how we're going to approach this and I've said it many times, our first approach at UPS Freight is to work on the cost and to bring new trucks in, will help us on maintenance costs, will help us on safety because these equipment have the safety features of trucks that are built in 2022, the forward-facing camera. Also, the driver experience in driving a new truck versus an old one, I mean, it's day and night. So all this, we believe that our first step, working with the team there to reduce costs and be more efficient. And then slowly, for sure, we'll address the situation of of rates that may be not reflect market rates today.

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Okay. So yes, I just wanted to -- that was my second question was about UPS Freight. As you've done more work since three months ago, ahead of closing the deal. Has anything changed in terms of your near and long-term margin expectations? Maybe have you had conversations with customers about revenue retention, things like that? Just any thoughts there?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

No, no change really. I mean it's just a confirmation. What we've been able to do over the last few months is just to confirm the plan that we have and we feel very strongly that this is a great plan and we have the support of the management team there. They understand, OK, where we want to go. And this is why when we say that within a year, we believe that UPS could be a 97 OR, OK? We still very firmly believe that. And within three years, we don't see any reason why this company with the potential, the customer base, the relationship that we have also with UPS, there's no way -- I mean, we still feel very, very strongly that we could be a 90 OR within three years.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Konark Gupta with Scotiabank.

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Thanks and good morning Alain, so maybe first on the capex clarification. You said $325 million, I guess. Is that a gross number, or is it net of any expected risk?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. It's net. It's net of disposal, Konark. Yes. USD. Canadian dollars is about CAD400, U.S is about USD325, something like that.

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Great. Okay and thanks for that. And sir, my first question is on the UPS acquisition. So UPS reported, obviously, this week, and I think they were saying the freight segment had a pretty good quarter. I think they had record profitability there for that. Just wondering your thoughts in the sense that how is the UPS Freight doing right now? Where you saw them when you were acquiring them? And how does that kind of potentially push up your goals or aspirations with the margins?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Very good question, Konark. But as we're very conservative, so I'm not going to say something different from the UPS management team. I mean they still own the company. So when they said that they had their best quarter, I mean, they know what they're talking about. So for sure, the trend, OK, is improving over there. For sure, market condition is also improving. So if you ask me the question, is the company today better, OK, in Q1 of 2021 than it was, let's say, in Q1 of '20 or -- for sure, OK? So we are buying a company right now that the trend is improving every day, yes. but we're still coming out with something very conservative, right? This is -- the culture at TFI has always been under promised, but over delivered, right? So we're not going to say, Oh, we're going to come up with four 50 or whatever. No, three 80 to 4. And then we may revisit that after Q2, OK, or after Q3.

After we have a little bit better control of the situation at UPS Freight because, don't forget, this is also based on a plan when we look at UPS Freight that we are not in control today. I mean we're looking at the trend. We're looking at the plan. We think that right now, probably, the guys are doing a fantastic job. We'll just work with the team to improve that, right?

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Yes. That makes sense. That's great color, Alain. And then secondly, if I can ask you on the pricing. You mentioned about strong spot pricing in the truckload market, especially, I think, in the U.S., which is no surprise to anyone here. Wondering what your thoughts are on the pricing going forward? I mean, what are you seeing with, obviously, fuel kind of rebounding, and I think the demand function remains pretty strong at this point? But curious to your thoughts into how pricing trends over time here and for the next few quarters in the U.S. in the Truckload as well as any other segments, I think you mentioned about P&C, where yield was pretty strong in B2C and B2B both. What are you seeing in the pricing -- on the pricing side in P&C as well?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, on the P&C, I mean, our Q1, we saw a price increase of about 7%, OK? Volume increased about 15%, but price, 7%. Now like I said to our friends at UPS, those guys did a better job than us because their price was about 10% of price increase then, 10%, 12%, depending on if it's domestic or international. So I mean, the leadership of UPS is helping everybody in the industry, OK, to adjust price to a level which makes way more sense, OK? So pricing environment, P&C, really good. Pricing environment in our U.S. TL, for sure. I mean, there's -- every morning, if you talk to our EVP responsible for U.S. TL, he says I've got more freight than I can handle, right? It's been going on like that for at least the last four months. So for sure, this put pressures on rates. I was just listening, in the U.S., they anticipate maybe fuel costs will go higher because they are short drivers, OK? Fulfilling the service station with fuel.

So it's a global North American situation, whereby we are short. Not of freight, we are short of drivers, right? So the rates are being pushed up, OK? And at the same time, us, also we have, and in the industry, we're also adjusting salaries to our drivers, right? So it's just a normal phase, but for sure, I mean, if you look at the freight environment right now in the U.S. TL, there's more freight, OK, available that we could haul ourselves, right? So every morning, we're overbooked by 10%, 15%, 20% of what we can handle. And customers are -- can you help us? We're trying We're doing the best we can. But it's hard -- I mean, the schools, OK, because of COVID, I mean, it was like a big issue to have a school, right? Trying to educate those people to be drivers. It's a sum of all this thing that happened over the last, say, 12 months that create pressure. And now the U.S. economy is doing really well.

I mean we anticipate that the GDP will grow maybe 7% or 8%, OK, the numbers I'm looking at. So for sure, we got huge demand. The same story is true also in Canada for our Truckload division. I mean Q1 was OK, but wait until you see Q2. I mean, yes, sure. We have lockdowns right now in Canada. I mean, Ontario, big time, big lockdown there. Quebec, not as bad, but very close. Now we have issues in the maritimes and some -- a little bit also in BC but vaccination rollout is taking on more speed. So we believe that Q2 is still going to be maybe a transitional quarter, but then three and 4, our Canadian activity is going to be roaring really, really strong. So the pricing environment, really good. I mean, we look at our logistics, it's the same story. And this is why when we come out with the guidance on EPS or free cash flow, as usual. I mean we will try to beat the guidance, right?

Operator

Your next question, it's from the line of Allison Landry of Credit Suisse. Allison your line is open

Allison Landry -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Oh thanks sorry, just on another call this morning. Alain, so we obviously talk about the UPS Freight acquisition, sort of about to close shortly here. But presumably you're still evaluating small tuck-ins. Just could you give us a sense of the pipeline and whether the opportunity set has changed over the last few months? And then just sort of what types of businesses or end markets you're looking at?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, this is a very good question, Allison. So our pipeline is always full in terms of M&A, but these are small transactions. I mean, right now, we're looking at about three or four transactions in Canada. We're looking at maybe two or three smaller ones in the U.S. as well. So our pipeline is always full, but there, again, nothing of the size of UPS for us in 2021 and probably not in 2022. So we're -- these are nice tuck-ins that we do, small and highly profitable for our shareholders. And we're going to keep on doing that. Absolutely. Now for sure, our big focus is going to be on working with the UPS management team, approaching the cost. Like I said many times, we have to reduce the cost there to be a lean and mean carrier at UPS Freight, and that will be a big priority of ours. But, OK, small tuck-ins, M&A, it's in our blood. I mean we do that all the time.

Allison Landry -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay. And just a follow-up in terms of the free cash flow guide. Could you maybe just help us think through sort of the cadence over the next few quarters? Or do you expect it to be sort of relatively stable or sort of -- any sort of difference in the second half versus the first half?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

No. The only difference that we have between, let's say, the first three months and the next nine months of 2021 is the fact that Q1 2021 was affected by a lot of taxes that were paid by the company, OK, for a reason that we were allowed to delay some payment because of COVID. But we've remitted all those taxes that were -- had to be remitted in Q1. So this is why our free cash flow has been a little bit affected by that, but we don't anticipate anything similar in the next nine months. The only major thing for us in the next nine months, OK, will be capex, OK, for sure. Like I said on the call, we're going to be investing this year about USD325 million to USD350 million net capex, depending on the timing because of the chip situation, the shortage. I mean, we're not sure if everything is going to come in on time. But no, that's a ballpark figure.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Kevin Chiang with CIBC.

Kevin Chiang -- CIBC -- Analyst

Alain thanks for taking my question here. If I could ask maybe the longer-term outlook for free cash flow, sort of I think your guidance of $500 million, if I look at -- if I look at consensus revenue for this year, about $6 billion. Now it's about 8% free cash flow margin. But you've highlighted elevated capex with UPS. You obviously have a target to improve the profitability in a number of your operations. When you're kind of through a lot of this heavy lifting, could you give us a sense of where your free cash flow margins could level out here?

Is this like a low double-digit free cash flow margin business, mid double-digit free cash flow margin business, looking out the next three, four years?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, absolutely, Kevin. I mean $500 million, I mean, it's been handicapped a little bit this year, OK, on the exceptional capex that we have to do in 2021 with this acquisition. We'll also have to do a little bit also in 2022 of catch-up capex for this UPS Freight acquisition. But I would say that normally, in a normal environment, OK, with all the improvements that we see coming at UPS Freight down the road, OK, absolutely. I mean, this is -- should be a double-digit free cash flow company, right? Our capital intensity, OK, you'll see that change big time because of the mix that's going to change. Also, we believe that at UPS Freight, we could do more with less, OK? We believe that in terms of the assets, in terms of the real estate, in terms of all kinds of stuff, I mean, we could do more with less.

The business is quite stable right now at UPS Freight in terms of the volume. So things are going well, like the management team said on the UPS call, but I think we believe that we could do more with less. So over time, I believe that we're going to be absolutely a double-digit free cash flow as a percent of revenue. Now the -- also the important thing, Kevin, I'm sure that you guys will take a look at the return on invested capital, OK, which is a first where we're looking at trailing 12 months, OK? We are publishing that now. And if you look at that, I mean, every, every division we have are all running double digit, except our U.S. TL operation, right? So I mean, if you look at our P&C OK, I mean, P&C, this is fantastic. I mean, our P&C is just above the 20%. Our LT is above 15%. Our Logistics is 18.6%.

Our Specialty Truckload is close to 11%, right? So the combined is about 12%, 12.4%, something like that, return on invested capital after tax. And don't forget, this is also based on all assets, not just the hard asset. It includes all the intangible asset as well, right? So I mean this is a fantastic company. When you look at -- and adding UPS Freight to the mix, OK, for sure, return on invested capital at UPS Freight is going to be low, OK, year 1. But I'm telling you, I mean, there's too much asset, there's too much real estate, and we're going to work on it for the revenue, right?

Kevin Chiang -- CIBC -- Analyst

For sure. That's helpful color. And I appreciate the ROIC disclosure this quarter. Maybe just to my second question, one of your Canadian competitors is consolidating parts of the Canadian LTL market. I know in the past, you've talked about this market being irrational. Just wondering if you're seeing anything at a high level in terms of any change in industry behavior that suggests maybe a little bit more rational behavior in this marketplace, just given what's happened with one of your competitors out there?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, we believe that finally, it's -- I'm happy to see that the other company is doing something. We can't buy them all, right? So it's a good thing. It's a good thing for the industry. But we're really happy with that. I mean we have a great relationship with the other company. We work together. I mean, we have very high respect for the other group and it's fine. I mean, we can't buy them all, right? So it's good that somebody else is showing up and doing something about -- the Canadian LTL is day and night versus the U.S. LTL. Why is that? Well, first of all, because we don't have a lot of industrial LTL in Canada. So that's a big problem. It's mostly retail. And number two is there's way too many small companies that are about making 1% or 2%.

So we're happy because the other company that's buying those two companies right now, their focus has never been to make two points, right? So for sure, they will have a job to do over there. And happy to see that the two companies will be part of this group now, and the focus is going to be to improve profitability. Absolutely. That's all good for the industry.

Kevin Chiang -- CIBC -- Analyst

Thanks for that I appreciate the color of it thank you very much

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Fadi Chamoun with BMO Capital Markets.

Fadi Chamoun -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you good morning Bedard. A question on -- I mean, the ROIC, you just talked about being pretty strong pretty much across all division except the U.S. TL, I'm just wondering where does the segment kind of sit in terms of the capital allocation priority? It's a very competitive segment. Obviously, your position is typically top player in most of the other segments, LTL in U.S. and Canada, obviously, in parcel and so on. Is this something you want to put more capital in? You want to grow that business, U.S. conventional TL? Is this something potentially candidate for a divestiture? Just wondering where does that sit in the capital allocation priorities for you?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

You know what, Fadi, I mean, this is a tricky question because everybody understand that if you generate less than 10%, and you're part of TFI, for sure, you're not going to be the first in line to get capital, right? Our Logistics and our P&C absolutely, they come first, our LTL as well. And this is why we're buying UPS Freight. Now what we have in the U.S. right now, OK, is to keep -- and are we going to grow it through M&A? Probably not because our focus right now has always been to grow our specialty TL. And if you look at our specialty TL, return on invested capital, I mean we're just above the 10% mark. I mean, we're 11%, 11.5%, something like that. I mean -- and this is fine because I think we could do better, and we'll do better over time.

Now in terms of the regular event, if you look at the best company in the U.S., OK, the best of the best, and you look at the return on invested capital, it's less than 7%. Plus we're at 5.5%. It's not great, OK, but we're not that far away from the best of the best. So our goal is slowly get closer to the best of the best. And I believe strongly that we have the A team, OK, under Greg Orr. And also, the acquisition of UPS Freight gives us another small truckload division. That's not doing too good, OK? They probably run at 98 OR OK? And now we have a plan of working TCA, this UPS Truckload division with our CFI management team, and we're going to do a combination, OK, by the end of 2021 that should help us get closer to a 6% or 6.5% and be the best of the best. Now don't forget that our introduction to the Truckload market, OK, five years ago, six years ago, to the U.S.

TL market, there was a goal behind that is to give us some size in the U.S. so that we could one day listed in the U.S. Now with the UPS Freight acquisition, I mean, most of our revenue, OK, will be U.S. domestic. I mean, as a matter of fact, in Q1, we have more U.S. domestic revenue than Canadian, right? So we'll be probably like 75-25, 75 U.S. And then we'll see over time. I mean we're not in the business of selling companies, OK? But we've done that before. We've done that with our waste division. So -- but it's not in the card for now. What we're trying to do, working with Greg and his team over there, is to get closer to the best of the best in terms of the return on invested capital.

Fadi Chamoun -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. That's great. My follow-up just on the P&C network side, I mean, you're seeing very significant organic growth, which you're signaling will continue. I mean I don't recall having seen that kind of growth in this network in a long time, obviously, for you. And I'm wondering, is this -- like how is the sortation network handling this type of growth? Is this predominantly coming kind of from via supply side of things? And how are you handling kind of this -- this kind of environment we're in right now? And is there going to be any need for capacity or expansion there?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Yes, a very good question, Fadi. I mean, for sure, I mean, our Toronto hub, OK, is very, very, very busy. It's never been that busy, OK? And we're working on a plan right now to see what the next step is going to be. So we're getting close to city over there. So this is why we're looking at what can we do more, OK, in Calgary? What can we do more in Vancouver? What can we do more in Montreal? So Calgary, we have a new sorting center. We just opened that up a year ago. So there, we're doing fine. But in Toronto, for sure, we will have to do something there. The J.C. center, we're really busy. But I mean, we could do more. And for sure, this is why we're growing about 14%, 15% in terms of volume right now. We were skeptical at first that changing the mix from B2B to B2C with the pandemic there that would erode our margin.

But if you look at our Q4, it was great. If you look at our Q1 this year, again, we feel good. We have some divisions that are not at capacity like ICS, like TFIS. We could also do more within our Loomis operation. So I mean, we could still see a 20% or 15% growth in our e-commerce in 2021 and into 2022. But then we will get closer to capacity crunch, right? So this is why we're working now to see how we're going to resolve that.

Operator

Tim James, TD Securities.

Tim James -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Good morning Alain, I mean what if you could talk about how your progress is with the DLS acquisition, the integration of that? And kind of how we -- just maybe update us on the opportunity set, which I think is quite compelling and how that's shaping up relative to your expectations when you acquired it?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. You know what, DLS, we're really happy about what's going on. Now in terms of the transition agreement, OK, we believe, like I said earlier on the call that by the summer, I mean, we're going to be a stand-alone with running a financial on Oracle instead of their SAP. But in terms of revenue growth, I mean, we're quite surprised to see how this team is doing. I mean I was looking at the last month that we closed in March, I mean, our revenue growth was pretty impressive, right? So I mean to me, it's really a fantastic acquisition because it gives us market intelligence on the U.S. domestic LTL market so that we can understand OK, what the rates are, what the value is, etc, etc.

So -- but over and above that, I mean, we have a fantastic team there based on an agent model. And we feel that we're running about a $600 million, $650 million business right now. And is it possible that we could do $1 billion within the next 2, three years? Absolutely. The way we're growing right now, I feel pretty good about that. Now for sure, the margin is slim. We're running a 4%, 4.25% margin right now. But the guys are working. We're going to be working on reducing our overhead costs as soon as we can unhook from Donnelley. And then work also on the margin with some of our customers and working with the transportation company and providing a great solution. For example, DLS or what we call now WW, TForce WW.

They were never involved in the transborder LTL, right? They were just focusing on domestic shipment. With us -- for us, the transborder LTL into Mexico or into Canada, it's very important to us. So now those guys have put a plan, and they're working on it now to see how they can grow that, right? Because to us, this is one of the greatest market of the LTL is the transborder between U.S. and Canada and Mexico. So feel good about this acquisition. It's really strategic to us. And now with the UPS Freight acquisition, now it gives us assets on the ground, OK, and working with the team there, then we could -- I feel that we could grow this UPS Freight as soon as we have a very solid foundation, which will take us maybe a year, 18 months to be really, really solid in control there of all of our costs. I feel good that we could grow this company. We have the team there. And we have the assets.

We have the real estate to grow probably 40%, 50%. That's not the goal. Really, the first goal is to be lean and mean and very cost efficient. What I'm just saying that we have the asset to do it, if the market can bear it. But I feel really good about the future over there.

Tim James -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Thank you and just one follow-up here on the return on capital in the business, which, as you pointed out, is very strong, really, across most parts of the business. So how do you think about, in the future, adding more capital versus increasing returns? I mean are there any areas of the business now where you really don't -- I mean it sounds odd to say it this way that you don't want higher returns on capital or your preference is actually just to put more capital to work? Or is your thought that it's still better off to kind of squeeze the assets, get more -- push your returns on capital higher?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. That's a very good question. If you look at our P&C, I think that a 20% return on invested capital, net of tax, OK, it's difficult to do better than that. I mean if you look at -- as an example, OK, if you look at the return on invested capital, the best LTL company in the U.S., the best, the one that trades at 35, 40 times earnings, OK, I mean, they're going to be in that 20% neighborhood, right? So to me, if you ask me, could you do better than 20% on your P&C? I would say, it's going to be difficult. I mean, we're working on it, but it's not going to be easy. Now on the LTL side, I believe that what we're doing in Canada, I mean, it's got to be at least that in the U.S. over a period of two to three years, right? So because you got the best of the best is at 20%, you got another one that's 15%. So we're about 15% ourselves in Canada, which is not as good of a market as the one in the U.S.

So we believe that LTL, we could do better because of this UPS Freight acquisition. In terms of the truckload, the idea is really to try -- again, to do more with less. So how do we do that? Well, we could do more with the owner-operator model. We could do more with our brokerage operation. And this is the focus of our. This is why when we bought CFI, they had no brokerage operation whatsoever, right? It was Menlo. So Menlo stayed with XPO. So hence we end up with no asset-light operation there. So we built CFI Logistics, OK, and it's doing well and it's growing. So that's going to help, again, get a better return on invested capital because it's all organic. So it's always a balance, OK. And me working with the team. It's always where should we invest our capital. And this is why a lot of times, we say, OK, oh, guys, M&A is going to be our first priority. Buying back the stock, if we feel that the stock is under pressure, and we see an opportunity, yes, we'll do that, right, to improve, again, our return will invest on assets as well. So it's a balance, guys.

Tim James -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Ok thanks very much Alain.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Pleasure.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Jason Seidl with Cowen.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

Thanks operator good morning Alain.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Morning Jason.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

I wanted to touch back on P&C, and how you see your margins over time as some of your B2B business actually does start coming back? Because historically, that was good margin business because you guys have a lot more packages -- than the consumer market.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Yes. Yes, absolutely, Jason. So for sure, our B2B is still affected, OK, because Ontario, OK, and Quebec, are under some major lockdown right now. We've started to see some improvement at ICS, which is mostly B2B, but then it fell through again just lately about 2, three weeks ago. We believe that probably by the end of Q2, things should be back to normal. So we have two divisions within our P&C that are not running on all cylinders right now, it's ICS and TFIS. Why? Because they are mostly dependent on B2B. So you're absolutely right. Down the road, let's say, in Q3, we're more closer to normal situation in Canada, Ontario, Quebec, which is the largest provinces in terms of population.

So yes, our margin would probably help us in Q3 and in Q4 with the right mix, also a balance between B2C and B2B at our Loomis-Canpar operation. Yes, don't forget, we did about, what, 19% in Q4 in terms of OE at our P&C operation. We did, yes, about 19% in our P&C. So can we do better than that? Let's say, if things are back to normal in Q4 of 2021? Probably, it's a same story with LTL.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

Okay. That's great. Let's focus a little on the -- operations. Can you give us an update about some of your market initiatives there?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Where is that, Jason? Are you talking about UPS Freight?

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

Logistics.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Logistics. Okay. Yes. Logistics -- well, in Logistics, you got the two sectors. Our last mile operation in Canada is doing really, really well. Our U.S. operation in terms of top line, I mean, we're basically flat. And we're just starting to see some growth opportunities. We're working on a few projects, but our bottom line is definitely improving there. We're getting closer to a double-digit EBIT there, OK, which is got to be our goal within, let's say, the next 12 to 18 months. So our operation is really humming. Our guys are working on all the costs and being more efficient. And our sales team is also working on adding more business to our network. In terms of our DLS or WW company, I mean those guys are -- organically, they're growing quite well.

And the margin is still -- we look at 4%, and we say, why we at 4%? But then we look at some of the other players in the industry. And one of the best guys are also at 4%. So -- but we say, you know what, guys, we have to work on the overhead. I mean, for sure, we have to do more with less there as well. So over time, our logistics sector, you'll see because of this acquisition, a lot of growth, but at the same time, also -- overall, our EBIT there is running between seven and 8. Over time, we believe that we could get closer to 10, OK, with some organic growth as well. So let's say, we're a seven to eight right now. Over time within 12 to 24 months, can we get closer to 10? We believe so.

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

Okay really appreciate that and all the you guys be showing.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Jason.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Cameron Doerksen with National Financial. National Bank Financial I apologize.

Cameron Doerksen -- National Bank Financial -- Analyst

Thanks Good Morning. So just a clarification on the expected capex, the net capex for 2021. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's what you're indicating at USD325 million is higher than what was the case a quarter ago? And I'm just wondering if that implies that there's some pull forward of spending from 2022 into 2021? Because I think that maybe a lot of the sort of significant UPS capex was originally going to be planned for 2022. So just if you could just clarify what that means for, I guess, capex over the next 18 months as opposed to just 2021?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Yes. So you see, Cameron, what we were able to do with the supplier is to get 1,150 trucks into 2021. So we put a lot of pressure on those guys, the supplier, to make sure that we get all these trucks into 2021. So you're right. At first, OK, we were saying that within 12 months, OK, we should get 1,150 trucks. But now we put pressure on these guys. So it's going to be -- instead of being 12 months -- over 12 months, it's going to be over the next seven months. Let's say, we take over in May, sometime in May, so we only have seven months.

We believe according to the builder is they're starting building for us in July, right? So because the order is already out. I mean, everything is out. We know how much it's going to cost us, etc, etc. So it's ongoing. We believe that we should get all those 1,150 trucks before the end of 2021. So this is why you're right. It's a little bit of a change versus going over 12 months, now it's going to be over seven months. Yes.

Cameron Doerksen -- National Bank Financial -- Analyst

Okay. So what does that imply, I guess, for 2022? Should we expect -- I mean, I guess, maybe the question is what's a kind of more normalized run rate capex in 2022 if you're making this huge investment in 2021?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

I think, Cameron, it's going to be more of the same in 2022 because we cannot do the catch-up capex only in one year. So I think in your model, you should expect that 2022 is going to be the same as 2021, OK, because we want to bring the age of this fleet closer to four to five than 7.5 to eight right now, right? So 2021 and 2022 are probably exceptional years of catch-up and normal should be more like -- normally like 2023.

Cameron Doerksen -- National Bank Financial -- Analyst

Okay. Got it. That makes sense. And just if I could just squeeze in a question about the, I guess, driver issues. I mean I think it's well-known what's going on. But I'm just -- I'm wondering if you can maybe comment on what your expectation is for the ability to kind of keep and hire drivers in the U.S. LTL? Obviously, that's going to become more important for you. I'm just wondering if is it less challenging or more challenging in LTL in the U.S. to find drivers?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

LTL, I mean, U.S. and Canada, I mean, the turnover is not -- absolutely not the same. I mean we have no issues whatsoever in Canada with our LTL or Package and Courier guys, finding drivers and replacing the ones that are retiring. In the U.S., I mean, we look at the statistics for LTL. I mean, it's not an issue. It's not an issue. I mean, it's Truckload, it's a big issue, but not LTL.

Cameron Doerksen -- National Bank Financial -- Analyst

Okay that was I thought, appreciate the time thanks very much.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Cameron.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Benoit Poirier with Desjardins Capital.

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

Hey Good Morning Alain, yes just to come back on the previous question, obviously, very strong fundamentals, but a question on the driver shortage. What can you say about the wage inflation and the ability to pass-through those wage inflation on pricing and potentially a direction on the margin, whether it's impacting your margin?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So I mean, right now, the pass-through is easy because there's more freight than drivers. So we are adjusting salaries to the drivers over the course of 2021 and the spot rate is just through the roof and the contract rate has been renewed with 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 12% right now. So it's not an issue. So if you look at -- we just bought, six months ago, MCT, OK, which is a referred division. And we had about 200 drivers, and we're doing really, really, really well with this division right now. I mean, this division operated in sub 85 OR in Q1 of 2021. And we believe that those 900 -- 800 to 900 drivers in the truckload division of UPS that Greg Orr and his team will take over soon, OK? And those guys are running at 98 OR right now.

I mean, we believe -- firmly believe that this is going to be a huge asset because we're having -- we're adding, OK, those 800, 900 drivers, OK, in a market that is -- it's a fairly great market for the truckers. So we believe that we could use these drivers in a better way than they're being used today. If I can say that, right? Because the freight is abundant. And those guys are hauling freight probably at rates that don't reflect the market. So on the Truckload world, we believe that we can turn this Truckload division around much faster than we can turn around, OK, the LTL division because Truckload is more of a reaction faster than the LTL. Our focus is going to be more on costs and yes, pricing, too, but the big focus is mostly on the cost side. But the Truckload is on costs but also market pricing very fast there.

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

Okay. That's great color, Alain. With respect to your leverage ratio, 1.75 to 2, if you take into -- does it take into account the cash and given it's pretty healthy. Any color about the capital and love for the tuck-in M&A for the remainder of 2021 and maybe the opportunity to pursue share buyback?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Right now, when I say our leverage is going to be between 1.75 to 2, there's minimal M&A in there, except the UPS thing there. And right now, there's no share buyback, OK? So we did some in Q1, OK. We may do some in Q2, three and 4, depending on the valuation of the stock. For sure, we have a target in mind. We know -- I mean I've been involved with this company for more than 25 years. So we know where we're going. So if we see weakness in the stock, absolutely. I mean, we'll be active on the buyback. I mean, we bought back, what, I think, 642,000 shares in Q1, which is minimal, OK? But can we buy another million shares between now and the rest of the year? Absolutely. I mean our leverage is going to -- in our plan, it's going to be much closer to 1.75 and two anyway.

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

That's great color, thank you Alain.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Your next question is from the line of Walter Spracklin with RBC.

Walter Spracklin -- RBC -- Analyst

So I'd just like to come back to P&C. And I think your strategy is a good one in the sense that you've got capacity, you're going to grow into that capacity at a fairly healthy clip in the near term. You mentioned in an answer to a prior question that you start to get up to your capacity limits perhaps next year. Obviously, you'll have higher EBITDA once there. My question is more longer term. I know you've indicated longer term, some challenges with regards to growth after we're through the systemic growth period, driven by the lack of acquisition opportunity. How has your thinking changed around that division longer term? Do you double down and invest heavily in adding capacity after you hit it next year? Or do you look at other alternatives for that division?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

You know what, Walter, that's a very good strategic question. And if you go back in time, the reason we sold our waste division is it was because we could not grow it anymore, right? Because our valuation was so low and buying assets -- it was dilutive to us. So finally, we didn't want to do that, but we had to do it. So we sold our waste management company at the time. And OK -- so you look at our P&C, we're really doing really, really well. But then, as you just said, I mean, we'll come to a point in 2023 where, OK, and we're already looking at the possibility. What do we do in Toronto, right? So this is -- Toronto is the big hub for us.

And this is why we're looking at the question right now. And for sure, we have capacity in other markets, but we're getting tied in Toronto. So then we'll come to a point. Is there some M&A possible? Is there something that you could do on M&A? Is there some -- is there a partnership that you could do with somebody else, right? So if you take, for example, some of our competition at major hubs, OK? Is there any way that we could do a deal with them and help them and help us at the same time. So don't forget that this discussion that we're having with our friends in Atlanta, I think it's -- it could be way more than just this transaction that we should be closing on soon.

I think that because we have a relationship with those guys, can we expand more of this relationship in Canada, working with them? Is there anything that we could do? Time will tell. But we're looking at every opportunities of what we can do, OK? And I'm not a big fan of investing $100 million to $200 million in -- with low returns, right? We could do it. We could invest $200 million, no question, but I need the returns. And we're not very patient. So if the guy tells me, well, the return is going to take 15 years. We're going to try to find other issues, other opportunities, right?

Walter Spracklin -- RBC -- Analyst

Absolutely. That makes a lot of sense, Alain. And just administrative here. Your -- the effective tax rate, I know you mentioned there was some movement in your tax rates there historically. But going forward, what effective tax rate should we build in? And is most of that cash taxes? Or should we look at a cash tax rate that's somewhat lower than your effective?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I would say -- I'm not a big specialist, Walter, on cash or tax. But I would say that what you see right now, around the 25% mark, we don't know what's going to happen with the tax rate in the U.S. There's some discussion there with Mr. Biden that they may change that. So right now, I think that if you work with a 25%, I think it's reasonable. That may change. We don't even know what Mr. Trudeau could do in Canada. I mean because they have huge deficit there. So maybe there's going to be some changes there. But I don't anticipate anything major for 2021, we'll have to see for 2022.

Operator

And your last question will come from the line of Sanjay Ramaswamy of Bank of America.

Sanjay Ramaswamy -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Great thanks for --. Just with regards to U.S. Truckload. I mean, Alain, you mentioned that, obviously, 1Q was a bit of a disappointment. So revenue per total mile up around about 8%. And some of your peers up in the double-digit ranges in the mid-teens. Look, we're just asking, is this more of a function of the more contract business that you guys have and less of a spot market exposure? Maybe some color there would be helpful.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So I think what happened in Q1 is that in one of our division, TCA, I mean there was some issues with some dedicated work that we've lost, and we were able to replace quite fast enough, right? But if you look at -- going forward, if we look at April into Q2 and into three and 4, we believe that this was just a onetime event for us in Q1. And also the fact that we're getting about 900 drivers through the UPS acquisition in our Truckload division. And also the demand is really there. So -- and the consolidation that we're going to go through in 2021, we believe that this will also have an effect of reducing our overhead. The overhead that we get from the UPS Truckload division on top of the CFI overhead and on top of the TCA, if you sum that up, for sure, there's going to be some saving there to bring us back to more of a sub 90 OR or around 90 than being a 92, 93, 94 guy.

Sanjay Ramaswamy -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Yes, that's really helpful. And just one follow-up, in terms of the employee count that you guys have. It was down around about 1,600 year-on-s, about 350 sequentially, noting that was mainly in the LTL businesses. I mean how do we think about that kind of moving through 2021 ex kind of the UPS Freight acquisition and the employees coming on there? Is there room to -- are we going to see that employee count continually come down despite the -- environment? Or how do we think about that?

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, it's too early to say what we can do over there. But one thing is for sure is we believe that we have to do more with less. That's what we have been doing all the time. It's a religion at TFI. Every day, you ask yourself, how can you do more with less? And less means less asset, means less people, better technology, better tools, OK? Because we're competing, OK, in Canada with some very fierce competition, both in the P&C, LTL and Truckload. We look at the LTL market in the U.S., and there's some very, very good transportation company over there. So we have to compete with these guys.

And right now, I mean although like UPS management said on the call yesterday that the division did better in Q1, we're still a far cry from where we should be. I mean, the trend is good. Okay, fine. But probably once we take over the company, we're going to have to accelerate, OK, the change and the improvement that's been taking place right now.

Sanjay Ramaswamy -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Right thanks.

Operator

And that does conclude our Q&A session. I'll turn the call back over to Alain Bedard for any closing remarks.

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Well, thank you, operator, and I want to thank everyone for joining us on this morning's call. So on behalf of the team at TFI International, we appreciate your support, and we're working hard on your behalf each and every day. I look forward to updating you on our progress next quarter and hope that you remain safe in the months ahead. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with additional questions. Thank you again, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks, Bye.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 66 minutes

Call participants:

Alain Bedard -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Scott Group -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Konark Gupta -- Scotiabank -- Analyst

Allison Landry -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Kevin Chiang -- CIBC -- Analyst

Fadi Chamoun -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Tim James -- TD Securities -- Analyst

Jason Seidl -- Cowen -- Analyst

Cameron Doerksen -- National Bank Financial -- Analyst

Benoit Poirier -- Desjardins Securities -- Analyst

Walter Spracklin -- RBC -- Analyst

Sanjay Ramaswamy -- Bank of America -- Analyst

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