1924 | 1944 | 1952 | 1960s
| 1970s | 1980s | 1990s
1924: A.J. Harrell founded Yellow Cab and
Transit Co. in Oklahoma City, primarily as a bus and taxi company
serving central Oklahoma. The company added intrastate shipping to its
services in 1926 and shortened its name to Yellow Transit Co.
1944: Harrell sold the shipping
operations to a New York-based investment group headed by New
York financier Arlington W. Porter. Yellow changed its name to Yellow Transit Freight
1952: George E. Powell, Sr.,
of Kansas City and an ownership group that included Powell's son, George
E. Powell, Jr., and Roy Freuhauf, owner of the Freuhauf
Trailer Co., acquired the company. In one year, the Powell family
brought the company from near-bankruptcy to profitable growth.
1965: Yellow acquired Watson-Wilson Transportation System,
making the company a transcontinental carrier with routes extending from
the Midwest to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The acquisition allowed
Yellow to add more than 21,000 miles of authorized routes and begin
serving 10 more states.
1968: Watson-Wilson merged into Yellow, and
Yellow's name changed to Yellow Freight System, Inc.
1972: Yellow acquired Adley Corp. and principal
subsidiary Adley Express Co., providing
operating rights along the Eastern Seaboard north to
Quebec and south to Georgia. The acquisition allowed Yellow to extend
service into five states.
1975: Yellow bought all
Republic Freight System, Inc., outstanding stock The rights Yellow
acquired from Republic allowed Yellow to expand into the Northwest, giving Yellow true
service coverage throughout the 48 contiguous states.
1977: Yellow and Braswell Motor Freight Lines
company owners agreed to allow Yellow to buy all Braswell capital stock.
This acquisition gave Yellow additional
coverage throughout the sunbelt states from Georgia to California.
1980: Congress passed
the Motor Carrier
Act, deregulating the interstate trucking industry. Yellow opened 13
general freight terminals, bringing the total to 248.
1981: Yellow opened 88 new terminals, converting
its operations to an all-new, hub-and-spoke freight-flow system with each
of the 17 hubs being a consolidation and distribution point for a specific
1982: The hub-and-spoke system provided the base
for a rapid increase in the terminal network. At the end of the year,
Yellow had 377 terminals, providing direct service to 48 of the 50
1984: Yellow opened 71 terminals, bringing the
number of terminals to 508.
1985: Yellow acquired RBS Enterprises, Inc., to
expand service between the United States and Ontario, Canada. RBS
and its subsidiaries included International Carriers, Inc., which had
operations in the United States and Canada. The acquisition significantly
Yellow's presence in Ontario and Quebec.
1986: Yellow acquired Custom Courier Services, Ltd.,
which it renamed Yellow Freight System of British Columbia, Inc., to
expand service into British
Columbia. At year-end 1986, Yellow served more than 650 points in Canada
and had 599 terminal.
1992: Yellow launched
less-than-container-load service to Europe.
1994: The effects of
federal and state deregulation, combined with industry overcapacity and
intense price competition began to send Yellow's profitability on a slow,
1995: Continuing to
expand, Yellow entered the Asia/Pacific market with services to and from
Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.
1996: The Yellow board
hired A. Maurice
Myers as Yellow Corp. president, chairman, and chief executive
April. Myers was the first person in 44 years that Powell did not name
to guide the company. In September, Yellow hired
William Zollars as Yellow Freight System president. Together, Myers and
Zollars began improving the company's performance almost immediately.
1997: Yellow was solidly in the black with an
operating ratio of 96.5. Yellow realigned its
organization into five regionally-based business units to
enhance operating flexibility and provide customized
services. The company created more than 400
new driver-sleeper teams and expanded service into South and Central
1998: Yellow and the Teamsters reached agreement on a new,
5-year contract 7
weeks before the 1994 National Master Freight Agreement expires. The first,
5-year contract in industry history was ratified by 70 percent of Teamsters in April.
Midyear, Yellow introduced an integrated
ground and air transportation service, Exact Express, to
broaden its services.
1999: Yellow, one of the most
enduring transportation services providers in North America, celebrated 75
years of service on New Year’s Eve. Yellow expected to be a new company
for a new century. Before the year was over Bill Zollars is named
Chairman, President and CEO of Yellow Corporation.
2000: James Welch became the new president
and chief operating officer of Yellow. The company celebrated one of its
strongest performances in its 76-year history, boasting operating revenue
at a record $2.8 billion.
2001: Yellow receives ISO 9000:2001
certification, becoming the first transportation services provider to
receive the new classification under the International Organization for
Standardization for continuous quality improvement. Yellow expands
Standard Ground Regional Advantage—the company’s best-in-class, 2- and
3-day regional service. Almost 70 percent of all shipments now deliver in
3 days or less, a 12 percent improvement over the previous 2 years.
2002: Yellow Freight System, Inc., changed its name to Yellow
Transportation, Inc., to reflect the company’s transformation to a
full-service global transportation provider. The company reorganized into
15 areas to move decision-makers closer to customers. Yellow international
operations announced an alliance with 12 European transportation
Performance · History