SJ298: Commending Estes Express Lines on its 75th anniversary.

Offered March 6, 2006
Commending Estes Express Lines on its 75th anniversary.
Patron-- Ruff

WHEREAS, in 2006, Estes Express Lines celebrates the 75th anniversary of its establishment; and

WHEREAS, in 1931, W. W. Estes bought one used Chevrolet truck and started a small, local trucking business hauling farm produce and supplies; home base for the fledgling company was on Main Street in Chase City in Mecklenburg County; and

WHEREAS, from those humble beginnings, the company has grown over the last 75 years to become one of the nation's major freight carriers; and

WHEREAS, the first three decades were a time of growth and consolidation within the Commonwealth for Estes Express Lines; the home office moved to Richmond in 1948, and the company was incorporated on November 23 of the same year; and

WHEREAS, Estes Express Lines became an interstate carrier in 1965 by purchasing Coastal Freight Lines and beginning service to the Outer Banks of North Carolina; the company continued to acquire other lines and expand its operations into North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia during the 1960s and 1970s; and

WHEREAS, deregulation in 1980 dramatically changed the motor carrier industry by allowing expansion without acquiring other companies; Estes Express Lines immediately applied for operating authority east of the Mississippi River and subsequently began to open facilities and develop a network west of the Mississippi as well; and

WHEREAS, in 1996, Estes Express Lines teamed with G. I. Trucking, Lakeville Motor Express, and TST Overland Express to form ExpressLINK, a voluntary alliance that allowed its member carriers to become national providers with coast-to-coast North American coverage; and

WHEREAS, in recent years Estes Express Lines has continued to expand its services by acquisition, or otherwise, into warehouse, consulting, partial truckload, custom-expedited, and other services; and

WHEREAS, Estes Express Lines reached a major milestone in 1991, achieving annual revenues of $100 million; the company doubled that to $200 million by 1994, and by 2004 had reached its first $1 billion revenue year; and

WHEREAS, Estes Express Lines squarely put itself in competition with the largest players in the national market when it acquired long-time associate G. I. Trucking with its Los Angeles base in 2005; and

WHEREAS, Estes Express Lines today has over 13,000 employees, 27,000 tractors and trailers, and 175 terminals all over the United States; and

WHEREAS, from its inception by W. W. Estes in 1931 to its growth as today's major national carrier, Estes Express Lines has remained a family-owned-and-operated business dedicated to "The Estes Way" of creating satisfied customers and striving for excellence set by the founder; and

WHEREAS, Robert W. Estes, Sr., became general manager in 1953 and president upon his father's death in 1965, and the family tradition continued when Robert W. Estes, Jr., became general manager in 1987 and then was promoted to president in 2000; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That Estes Express Lines be hereby commended upon its 75th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Robert W. Estes, Jr., President of Estes Express Lines, as an expression of the General Assembly's pride in the remarkable success story of a firm born and based in the Commonwealth and its best wishes for continued success.