GREEN BAY, Wis. — It was an event 75 years in the making Thursday when Schneider, as the nation’s largest truckload carrier, celebrated its milestone anniversary with industry leaders, members of the Schneider family and hundreds of Schneider National associates gathered at the company’s Green Bay, Wis. headquarters. The celebration focused on the company’s longstanding commitment to the transportation and logistics industry, an industry that lies at the heart of the U.S. economy, with more than 70 percent of all goods consumed in the country delivered by truck.
“The fact that we can stand here today and celebrate our 75th anniversary is a great testament to Al, Don and three generations of the Schneider Family,” remarked Schneider National President and CEO Chris Lofgren. “The Schneider family, along with tens of thousands of Schneider associates, have been committed to the ideals this company has held dear for 75 years — safety, respect, integrity and excellence. Those values bond our company as strongly today as they did in 1935.”
Schneider National’s roots date back to 1935 when founder Al Schneider sold the family’s car to purchase his first truck. Lofgren reflected on how the industry, the company and the supply chain have all changed during the course of 75 years.
“In 1935, Schneider consisted of one truck, today we have more than 11,000 on the road. Seventy-five years ago, the industry was highly regulated, with most trucks delivering freight only within state lines,” Lofgren said. “Today, we deliver freight across North American and around the world, logging 926 million miles a year while delivering goods to the factories and store shelves in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and China, and doing so with a best in class safety record.”
Honoring the company’s history and legacy, Lofgren presented a plaque of appreciation to the Schneider family that read, “In grateful recognition to the Schneider Family for your enduring commitment to creating a company that is built to last. On this day and every day, we honor and celebrate the company you built 75 years ago – one that has strengthened the Green Bay community, the transportation industry and the standard of living worldwide. Thank you for keeping the wheels of commerce rolling!”
Lofgren addressed guests on the front steps of Schneider’s Corporate Business Center, flanked by historic company images and two trucks — a 1949 vintage International restored by former Schneider associates in 1991 and a 2010 Freightliner adorned with the company’s 75-year anniversary logo. Joining Lofgren at the ceremony were members of the Schneider family, Gov. Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations; Duane Acklie, chairman of Crete Carrier Corp.; Chris Sultemeier, senior vice president of transportation for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Steve Matheys, executive vice president and chief administration officer for Schneider National and 11 of Schneider’s million mile safe drivers.
Graves and Acklie noted Schneider National’s contributions and commitment to advancing the industry.
“[Today] is about employees and employees’ families — both present and certainly past who have contributed to the tremendous success of this company,” said Graves, whose own family started a trucking company the same year as Al Schneider. “We can appreciate how difficult it is in this day and age for anything to last 75 years. There is something very special about the commitment that you all have made, and I have no doubt that your collective commitment is going to see this company through for 75 more.”
Crete’s Acklie, a longtime Schneider competitor and friend, expressed a similar sentiment when addressing the crowd.
“Schneider is the premier motor carrier and logistics provider still privately owned. On behalf of our industry, I salute all of your management, the Schneider family and your associates,” Acklie said. “I know that you’ll never look back but the future is yours.”
Schneider National’s broad portfolio of services allows the company to create transportation solutions for shippers large and small across the world.
Sultemeier, representing one of Schneider’s customers, mentioned the different ways Schneider helps the retail giant.
“From crises like Hurricane Katrina to fires on the West Coast to helping ship enormous amounts of volume over the holiday season, Schneider just does a fantastic job. This really is a company that is built to last, and we appreciate the partnership. We appreciate the support today,” Sultemeier said. “We certainly appreciate the support in the past few years. And we’re looking forward to the future support we will receive from Schneider.”
Lofgren emphasized the importance in looking forward in his remarks, as well.
“The legacy that the Schneider family built provides the foundation that the company takes forward into the next 25 years,” he added. “It’s a legacy that we honor, that we will protect and we will extend. Because of the foundation set down by Al and Don, Schneider National is able to say that ‘the best is yet to come.’”
Lofgren then introduced a time capsule project in which company history, memorabilia and a letter to be read to company associates during Schneider’s 100th anniversary year in 2035 will be sealed.
In addition, Schneider family members, ceremony guests and company associates were invited to pay tribute to Schneider and become a part of the company’s history by autographing the hood of an Omaha-Orange colored Freightliner truck. The 75th anniversary hood will be on display at the company for the remainder of its anniversary year.
After the ceremony, guests toured Schneider’s state-of-the-art Driver Training Center where they participated in hands-on demonstrations of Schneider’s latest in-cab technology upgrade, experienced the company’s state-of-the-art driver training simulators and drove a Schneider truck.
To view a short video celebrating the company’s 75-year history and legacy, visit www.schneider.com.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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