Reliable Freight Shipping Solutions Since 1931
It all began in 1931 when our founder, W.W. Estes bought a used Chevrolet truck to haul livestock to market for his neighbors in rural Virginia as a way to support his family during The Great Depression. Over time his business grew, and soon he was transporting not only livestock, but farm supplies and other goods to nearby farms, small towns, and large cities. Over the next five years he hired his first drivers, opened an office in Chase City, Virginia, and officially named the company Estes Express Lines.
Throughout the last nine decades, our company has grown from a one-man trucking operation to the largest privately held freight carrier in the nation.
Today, Estes has more than 19,000 employees, a fleet of more than 7,000 tractors and nearly 30,000 trailers, and a network of nearly 265 terminals, with coverage in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. And our extensive network of air, ocean, and ground services means we can ship to virtually any destination around the globe. Not only that—we’re debt-free, financially stable, and award-winners for safety, responsiveness, and exceptional customer service.
A lot has changed in the shipping industry (and the world) over the last 90 years, but through the decades our company’s mission has remained the same. We deliver responsive freight solutions so you can focus on what matters most:
- Less Than Truckload (LTL) freight shipping to and from all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean
- A standard network of nearly 7,000 next-day lanes and 270-million next-day points
- Residential and commercial non-dock delivery solutions to take our customers’ freight the final mile
- Time Critical solutions, including time-date definite, guaranteed, and expedited freight delivery
- Asset-based and brokered Volume LTL and Truckload shipping to regional, national, international, and offshore destinations
- Comprehensive freight forwarding solutions that make it easy to ship anywhere on the globe with confidence
If W.W. could see Estes today, he would certainly be amazed to witness how much his business has grown. But we think he would be even more pleased to know that his company’s growth was driven by the same values of hard work, integrity, and customer service that served as his foundation back in 1931. Since our company’s very first delivery run, keeping our customers satisfied and striving for excellence has always been The Estes Way.
W.W. Estes makes his first delivery with a used Chevy truck.
First home office on Main Street in downtown Chase City, VA.
Branch terminals in Richmond, VA, and Norfolk, VA, are opened.
Home office moves to Richmond, VA, to handle booming post-war business.
The home office moves a few blocks to Gordon Avenue to provide much-needed space.
W.W.’s son, Robey Estes, Sr., (on left) becomes general manager.
$1.1 million annual revenue by year-end.
A “Hoot ‘n Holler” party-line phone system improves communication among terminals.
Company’s first computer, the IBM 029, handles accounting and payroll functions.
Company mourns the loss of its founder on June 29. Robey Estes, Sr., becomes president.
Bestway Express purchase opens up the rest of South Carolina.
Interstate partial deregulation enables the company to grow at its own rate. Operating authority extends everywhere east of the Mississippi River.
Robey, Sr.’s son, Robey W. Estes, Jr. (Rob), becomes general manager.
$200 million at year-end doubles the revenue in three years.
Estes develops exclusive agreements with G.I. Trucking and Lakeville Motor Express.
www.estes-express.com is launched.
St. Louis, MO—first terminal west of the Mississippi River.
Truckload service—“Just-In-Time” and high volume shipping services.
Southwest network—Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
My Estes launched—password-protected tracking portion of the www.estes-express.com website.
Estes Caribbean Services—direct coverage to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Purchase of Allen’s Expedited’s assets and operations adds warehousing and expedited services.
Estes begins service to major commercial markets in Mexico.
Three Family of Services groups are added: Estes Air, Estes Warehousing and Estes Innovative (custom and expedited services).
Tropical Storm Gaston dumps 14 inches of rain in less than 8 hours; destroys ground-level data center in Richmond.
Complete acquisition of CA-based G.I. Trucking
New real-time technology connects customers, trucks and docks.
The company celebrates its 75th anniversary and, on August 30, mourns the loss of Robey W. Estes, Sr., who dies at age 85.
Estes opens 12 new terminals in ’06 to grow delivery network and enhance customer service.
Estes establishes a nationwide footprint with addition of 13 new terminals in six Upper-Midwest states.
Estes becomes the first major LTL carrier to become TSA-security compliant.
Major investment in transportation industry real estate to grow investment network of properties.
Expansion of Mexico service.
Network reengineering to cut transit times and reduce handling.
Launch of Estes SureMove®, affordable out-of-town household and business place moving services.
First steel/slotted Webb Walls in trailers—designed by H. Webb Estes—allow for more efficient use of load bars and straps.
Estes installs solar power systems at two MD terminals.
Estes buys new tractors with advanced collision mitigation systems.
Solar panel installation complete at Greensboro, North Carolina terminal.
Our interactive timeline will take you on a journey of Estes’ progress throughout the decades. Simply click the decade on the top to jump to a point in time, or select the year on the left and read about a milestone in our company’s history.