On April 21, 2006, Estes Express Lines celebrated its 75th Anniversary at its headquarters in Richmond, Va. The carrier has grown from one man and one truck in 1931 to a full-service, coast-to-coast, North American transportation provider with over 13,000 employees and more than 27,000 tractors and trailers.
To celebrate the long and varied history of Estes Express Lines, the company has developed a multimedia presentation of historical photographs on its Web site at www.estes-express.com, as well as a booklet highlighting the last 75 years of the company.
The Estes story begins in the midst of the Great Depression. Farmers were among the hardest-hit victims, and though farming was his first love, W.W. Estes found another way to make a living in 1931—trucking. He bought a used Chevrolet truck and began hauling farm products and supplies for both farming neighbors and small businesses all over southwestern Virginia. By 1937, W.W. had built a company that was enjoying growing prosperity along with the rest of the nation.
Robey W. Estes, Sr., joined his father's company in 1946 after serving in World War II. Today, Estes Express Lines is led by Robey W. "Rob" Estes, Jr., W.W.'s grandson. Estes is now believed to be the largest family-owned LTL carrier in the nation.
"It is only through the dedication and hard work of thousands of loyal Estes employees that my grandfather's dream has been sustained through so many decades of growth and change," says Robey W. Estes, Jr. "We would like to use this occasion to express our gratitude to all those who worked hard to build Estes Express Lines into what it is today."
In addition to Rob Estes, other Estes executives who spoke at the event include Henry Thomas "Tommy" Hupp, Jr., retired executive vice president, who spent 33 years with the company, and William T. "Billy" Hupp, COO and executive vice president. George Allen, U.S. Senator from Virginia, and Harwood Cochrane, founder of Overnite Transportation, also offered their congratulations.