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!
CalArk International was founded in 1975 and is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. The company offers irregular route, general commodities contract services to locations throughout the continental U.S., as well as door-to-door service in/out of Mexico via Laredo, Texas. Its last-mile services reach the mid-South and Southeastern U.S.
The company prides itself on a driver-oriented, family-friendly environment. Founder Tom Bartholomew started as a driver. He started CalArk with three trucks. CalArk’s current CEO is Tom’s daughter, Rochelle. She also understands what drivers face on the road every day.
CalArk still has a family atmosphere rich in friendship and appreciation. The company is in the top 500 of more than 770,000 for-hire trucking fleets in the United States (Fleet Owner’s 2019 For-Hire 500: The Top Carriers in North America). However, most of its office employees have been with the company for years and some for decades.
A privately held, asset-based company, CalArk has more than 600 tractors and more than 2,200 dry van trailers.
Among the third-party logistics services CalArk provides to customers are: warehouse services such as storage, trans-loading storage and pre- and post-production storage; distribution services such as pool distribution and deconsolidation for last-mile delivery, as well as cross-docking; pick-pack fulfillment, kitting, sub-assembly, repackaging and labeling, etc.; cartage; last-mile delivery service; white glove services for items requiring extra-special handling; and residential deliveries.
CalArk has a 650,000+ dry and temperature-controlled warehouse facility at its headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. It also operates smaller warehouse facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
CalArk also owns two subsidiaries – Central Hauling Company and Arkansas Equipment Leasing.
Central Hauling is a dry van truckload carrier. Its fleet operates across the continental U.S. and in Mexico. The fleet’s average length of haul is 1,000 miles, with a 3-1 trailer ratio, allowing numerous drop and hook loads.
Arkansas Equipment Leasing repurposes CalArk trucks that are no longer needed, primarily for sale to independent contractors who are ready to drive and own. The company offers lease to purchase options. It also repurposes trailers for sale.
Calex Integrated Supply Chain Solutions
Calex Integrated Supply Chain Solutions provides truckload transportation, warehousing, real estate development and a number of other asset-based third-party logistics services. The company has operated from Pittston, in northeast Pennsylvania, since 1974.
Calex transports a range of products, from raw materials to fragile consumer goods, throughout the U.S. Its transportation services include temperature-controlled refrigerated van, dry van, Conestoga and flatbed freight services (for products that require specialized shipping).
Its dry van services are generally east of the Mississippi River. Its vans have a 48,500-load capacity, an 8% competitive advantage over many carriers.
Calex’s fleet has a CSA rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that exceeds the industry standards. It can also boast a 99.7% on-time service history.
The company’s transportation capabilities connect customers to nearly 50% of the U.S. population with same or next day delivery from its facilities. Its trucks cover nearly 15 million miles annually. Calex has the trucks, drivers, warehouses, and asset-based logistics to help its customer base maximize efficiency in their supply chain management and distribution networks.
Calex also offers supply chain management solutions that can fully integrate its storage and transportation services. The company’s warehousing facilities are company-owned and operated and offer the latest technology for inventory control and warehouse management.
The company provides food-grade storage, dry storage, refrigerated and frozen storage, outside storage, as well as short- and long-term storage.
Calex also offers various warehouse fulfillment operations/services, including cross-docking, de-container, pick-and-pack solutions, high-speed shrink wrapping and automatic labelers. The Calex warehousing system and technologies allow customers to increase distribution options, reduce risks associated with storage and consolidate business operations.
Callaway Carriers, Inc.
Headquartered in Kingdom City, Missouri (about 30 minutes from the state capital in Jefferson City), Callaway Carriers began operations in 1992.
A regional dry van truckload provider, Callaway Carriers primarily offers service from central Missouri and Kansas to the Midwest and southeastern U.S. Other service areas include New England, North and South Dakotas, Texas and Colorado.
An asset-based operation, CanAmex was founded in 1996. Based in Mississauga (near Toronto), Ontario, the company also has operations near Memphis, Tennessee.
Temperature-controlled commodities are a specialty of CanAmex. The company works with major food retailers and provides cool, frozen and ambient transport of all fresh, frozen and dry good commodities.
Along with its extensive reefer fleet, CanAmex also has dry van and flatbed trailers to meet the needs of customers and the products being shipped. The company transports food products, fashion goods, appliances, beauty supplies, floor coverings, patio furniture and industrial goods such as building supplies and insulation.
CanAmex’s fleet transports freight throughout Canada and provides both truckload and less-than-truckload service between Canada and the Midwest, Southwest and the Atlantic seaboard. The company supplements its fleet with owner-operators.
The company also offers contract and dedicated warehousing solutions, yard management (including shunting service) and freight management services to increase coverage and capacity throughout North America.
In addition, CanAmex owns Carbra Trans, Incorporated. It is a licensed and bonded freight shipping and trucking company running a freight hauling business from Listowel, Ontario.
Caravan Logistics, Inc.
The Caravan Group of Companies was started in 1997 by its three owners. They formed one of Canada’s premiere, privately owned, cross-border transportation carriers.
Based in Oakville, Ontario, Caravan offers truckload, less-than-truckload and dedicated freight service, as well as third-party logistics and warehousing.
Caravan’s fleet of more than 450 satellite-tracked power units deliver freight across Canada and cross-border to and from the continental United States. It has both dry van and temperature-controlled trailers.
The company has more than 50,000-square feet of cross-dock and warehouse space at its locations in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.
In addition to Oakville, Caravan also has another location in Ontario in the city of London. Additional locations include Vaudreuil-Dorion (Montreal), Quebec; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Regina, Saskatchewan; Calgary, Alberta and Chicago in the United States.