Anderson Trucking Service’s (ATS) history began during a time when the trucking industry was heavily regulated. At the time, Cold Spring Granite (now known as Coldspring) owned a private fleet. They could haul outbound stone and inbound materials used only to manufacture granite products. Their business kept growing to the point where they had more outbound goods than inbound materials, leaving them stranded with no freight to get them back home. That’s when they reached out to ATS founder Harold Anderson to manage their overflow business. ATS was then incorporated.
After some time successfully hauling Coldspring’s outbound materials, Harold found another solution to a common problem. There were roughly 15-20 monument manufacturers in the St. Cloud area who were each shipping their products separately. He proposed a solution that instead of using several different providers, these manufacturers should put their freight on the same trailer that would make multiple stops. This is an early example of less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping.
Business expanded after ATS obtained our machinery and equipment authority. We also signed four Independent Contractor Drivers, adding to the fleet that began with two Drivers.
ATS established our first out-of-state terminal in Lansing, Illinois.
ATS purchased our first specialized trailer, adding to a fleet that consisted of flatbed trailers only to that point.
Gross revenues exceeded $1 million.
ATS began serving the iron and steel industries.
ATS purchased K&W Transportation out of Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. This allowed ATS to expand offerings outside of the continental United States, moving general commodities in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Chicago to and from Alaska. ATS sold K&W in 1994.
First Lieutenant Rollie Anderson returned home from the Air Force to join ATS and help run his father, Harold’s, business.
ATS worked with The Manitowoc Company to develop a trailer capable of hauling their crane houses. This provided ATS authority to haul outbound freight for Manitowoc. It was also part of the first stages of Heavy Haul at ATS.
President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform and Modernization Act, also known as deregulation, which allowed trucking companies more freedom over rates and other business decisions.
ATS, Inc., ATS’ Vans division, was formed to add a new service offering for ATS customers looking for enclosed trailer freight. A new logo was also introduced to reflect ATS’ national reputation.
Gross revenues exceeded $100 million. ATS also expanded into brokerage business by introducing Sureway Transportation, which provided customers more freight capacity.
ATS initiated service to and from Mexico to offer customers a trustworthy and reliable solution to get their freight across borders.
Intermodal Caribbean Express, Inc. (ICE) was formed, expanding service offerings into Puerto Rico. ICE later became ATS International.
ATS purchased Warren Transport in Waterloo, Iowa.
ATS founder, Harold Anderson, passed away at the age of 85.
Rollie transitioned into the role of Chief Executive Officer.
ATS also purchased SunBelt Furniture Xpress out of Hickory, North Carolina. This allowed ATS to break into the LTL furniture transportation business.
Wind energy was in its infancy in the U.S. and a major corporation was looking for a solution to haul their 60-meter towers that were 15 feet in diameter. They were also looking to move two 127-foot blades at a time. After working with a leading trailer manufacturer, ATS introduced an altered version of the Schnabel trailer being used in Europe. It was important to get the total height of the load below 16 feet in order to fit under bridges.
ATS celebrated 50 years of business by breaking ground on our new corporate headquarters just off Interstate 94 in the southeast end of St. Cloud, Minnesota.
ATS purchased Midwest Specialized out of Rochester, Minnesota. We also purchased our first 19-axle trailer.
ATS Logistics expanded services into transportation management, offering a full-service supply chain solution. New Energy Transport out of Houston, Texas was purchased. It was later closed in 2020.
Scott Anderson was named executive vice president and treasurer, Brent Anderson was named chief operating officer, ATS CEO, Rollie Anderson assumed the role of chairman of the board and Jake Wood was named president.