Deregulation of the U.S. trucking industry began in the late 1970s. Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 and it was signed into law by President Carter on July 1, 1980. This ended 45 years of onerous regulation by the federal Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC).
One of the most dramatic changes that occurred due to deregulation was the virtual explosion in the number of trucking firms. From 1980 to 1990, the number of licensed carriers doubled – from fewer than 20,000 to more than 40,000!
Forty years after the deregulation of the American trucking industry, truckinginfo.net estimates that there are 1.2 million trucking companies in the U.S. About 80% of these trucking companies are regarded as small businesses, with six trucks or less. Although the industry is still regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the opportunities to enter the trucking industry have broadened dramatically. It is estimated that there are now over 15.5 million trucks on the road; about two million are tractor-trailers.
FreightWaves Classics and the FreightWaves Haul of Fame will continue to highlight a number of these American trucking companies. FreightWaves Classics will also feature the photography of Jim Allen, who shoots, supplies and/or finds the majority of the photographs used on FreightWaves.com.
Some might say that “trucks are trucks…” and that is true to a degree. But every company has its own story. Moreover, almost every trucking company’s tractors and trailers have their own identities – different paint jobs, logos, decals, messages, etc. And for many of us involved in transportation, looking at them never gets old!
BLM Transportation Group
BLM Transportation Group is based in Kitchener, Ontario. Its fleet includes 100 tractors and 500 trailers across North America. BLM services the 48 continental U.S. states, all Canadian provinces, and all of Mexico.
The company offers a variety of services, including less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, flatbed and refrigerated loads. and blanket wrap shipments. BLM provides short- and long-haul service, warehousing, cross-docking, over-dimensional and flatbed carrier and roll-off.
The company has been in business for nearly 20 years.
Charlie Walker was born in 1932 and grew up in Salina, Kansas. He dropped out of school after the ninth grade and worked in a steel mill in Colorado. He later served proudly in the United States Air Force.
In the 1960s Walker started two companies that utilized truck-mounted equipment to provide mobile cleaning solutions. As he traveled across North America selling the cleaning equipment, Walker recognized a need for high quality, professional truck washes and car washes.
Walker opened the first Blue Beacon Truck Wash in his home town of Salina in 1973. Because Blue Beacon was an instant hit with truck drivers, Charlie immediately added new locations.
The 1980s were an important decade for Blue Beacon. The company added more than 45 locations and became the largest truck wash company in the nation. Blue Beacon’s first Canadian locations were also opened during this decade.
The company continues to expand, and its family of employees includes Walker’s children and grandchildren.
Today, the company owns/operates more than 110 Blue Beacon locations at travel plazas across the United States and Canada. Blue Beacon Truck Wash locations provide easy access for even the biggest rigs. Locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for customer convenience.
Blue Line Distribution, Ltd.
Tom Della Maestra founded Blue Line Distribution in 1986 with a desire to grow it into a truly unique Canadian company. Being an avid hockey player, Della Maestra named the company based on the defense position he loved to play, on the Blue Line.
Blue Line Distribution is a full-service solution and asset-based transportation provider servicing all points in North America and Mexico. As the business grew Blue Line eventually needed more space than its original facility in Mississauga, Ontario. Located on a 7-acre lot in Milton, Ontario, Blue Line’s second facility now has 24 loading docks in the 33,000-square foot warehouse.
Blue Line offers single and team services, LTL, truckload, airfreight shipments and expedited service. The company’s trucks travel throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. It runs temperature-controlled vans, flatbeds and intermodal services. It offers local pick-up and delivery, warehousing, consolidation, pick and pack, freight audits and a customs-bonded warehouse.
Blue Line is a U.S. and Canadian bonded carrier with facilities strategically located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It hauls generalized commodities, hazardous materials/ dangerous goods, alcohol, electronics, automobiles and automobile parts, dry goods and produce.
Booker Transportation Services, Inc.
Based in Amarillo, Texas, Booker Transportation Services specializes in refrigerated transportation and uses a 100% owner-operator model of operation. As it states on the company website, “We believe that an Independent owner-operator is most effective at getting our customers’ freight delivered timely and safely.”
In business for over 20 years, Booker Transportation Services provides lease options, and offers monthly and annual awards, longevity bonuses, and a “free tires for life of lease program.
Boparai Transport, Inc.
Based in Fresno, California, Boparai Transport, Inc. was established in 2006. It is a family- owned business that specializes in dry and refrigerated freight, expedited and dedicated services.
Operating across the continental U.S., Boparai provides truckload, LTL and drop trailer services for its customers. The company hauls a wide variety of general commodities (generally palletized).
Operating from its Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec) headquarters, Transport Bourassa has been offering flexible LTL, truckload and container transportation since 1956. Transport Bourassa has been actively involved in the transportation and distribution of a wide variety of freight throughout Québec, Canada and North America. While serving all of North America, the company offers next-day service in major urban centers in Québec, Ontario and the East Coast of the United States.
Its trailer types include dry van, curtain/tempo, heated, and flatbed.
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