Pierre Legras was appointed Managing Director in 1981 and aimed to "build a national refrigerated freight-forwarding provider". At the time, TFE had 1,200 vehicles and a workforce of 2,500, split between five regional companies: Sud-Ouest, TFO, Ronazur Froid, Sodelpha and Eurotransit.
To ensure a strong visual identity, in 1982 a logo was created illustrating the company's values, motto and line of business.
Founded in 1983 by Francis Lemor and Bernard Jolivet, the company set out to "build a group encompassing all the cooling business lines". The founders were convinced that the market held promise and decided to go into business, despite their lack of recognised expertise in cold-chain logistics.
SNCF divested STEF, its subsidiary of over 50 years, in 1987.
In 1992, Financière de l'Atlantique acquired TFE and became its sole shareholder.
In 1996, the company became STEF-TFE. It comprised three networks: STEF, TFE and Tradimar.
In 2014, STEF acquired the Dutch company Speksnijder Transport, which runs a multi-temperature platform that handles logistics and consolidation operations across Benelux.
Then, in 2016, STEF acquired VERS EXPRESS, a company that specialises in the distribution of chilled food products, as well as a 40% stake in NETKO along with the company's property.
That same year, the Group announced that it would pool its logistics network with EMMI, the Swiss dairy industry leader, and open a wholly owned site in Kölliken in 2018, to consolidate its position in Switzerland's chilled products logistics segment.
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