The two companies already had a close relationship created when, in 2001, senior management from both companies purchased G.I. from Arkansas Best Corp. Founded in 1946 by two G.I.s returning from duty in World War II, the company merged with Veteran Truck Lines in 1957 and was then purchased by Carolina Freight Carriers Corp. in 1983. G.I. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Best Corp. in 1995.
Estes and G.I. have had a strong working relationship through the ExpressLINK Service Network that linked Estes and G.I. with Lakeville Motor Express in the U.S. and TST Overland Express in Canada. The Service Network moves freight from each carrier’s territories by sleeper teams to key gateway cities in its partners’ territories.
The companies have shared sales and marketing services and identical platforms for expedited services. Among other benefits to shippers cited by the carriers are one billing system and the need for just one rate negotiation.