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1924 | 1944 | 1952 | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

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 Lines, Inc.

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 territory.

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 states.

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 increased 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, downward spiral. 

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 officer  in 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 America.

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 providers.

Financial Performance · History

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