Marten Transport’s Story

Marten Transport, Ltd., with headquarters in Mondovi, Wisconsin, strives to be the premium supplier of time and temperature-sensitive transportation services to customers nationwide. Marten serves customers with more demanding delivery deadlines, as well as those who ship products requiring modern temperature controlled trailers to protect goods.

 

At Marten, our drivers are the best in the industry. The integrity and professionalism exhibited by our drivers has earned us the status of being one of the top temperature protected freight haulers in America. Winners of the first place award in the Truckload Carriers Association Safety contest in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and Grand Prize Winner in 2001. We are proud of the safety history our drivers have achieved for us.

 

Our commitment to excellence is second to none, and it drives everything we do.  We expect you to expect more from Marten.

 

The history of Marten is the story of how hard work and vision can lead to success. From a very humble beginning, the company is now one of the largest refrigerated carriers in the United States.

 

Roger Marten Photo
Roger Marten

Roger Marten founded Marten Transport, Ltd. in 1946 at the age of 17, delivering milk and other dairy products from another individual who was associated with the Modena Co-op Creamery.  His routes at that time were primarily in the Modena, Wisconsin area where a Roger was born and raised.  Driving for the Modena Co-op Creamery, one year later Roger purchased his first truck route with a $400 loan from his mother.

 

Our First Truck Photo
First Truck

In the 1950's, he expanded his milk delivery routes, purchased and drove school buses, and hauled petroleum products with his first tractor-trailer.

 

In 1956, the first tractor-trailer combination was purchased, and Marten began hauling petroleum for Bauer Built of Durand, Wisconsin. Marten's volume doubled after the acquisition of Mondovi Trucking Co. in 1959.

 

In 1960 Marten added its first tandem axle tractor to its fleet. In the 1960's, Marten became closer to what it is known as today by changing from tanker trucks to the more familiar trailers (dry vans). The business expanded to the point of becoming an interstate carrier serving the Midwest and eastern seaboard. It was at that time that Roger purchased the land, in Mondovi, Wisconsin, on which the headquarters building sits today. The first building was a 40'x60' terminal with a 12'x12' office, much different from today state of the art facility.

 

In 1962, the Land O'Lakes drying operation in Mondovi closed, creating the need for milk to be hauled to other and Land O'Lake powdered milk facilities. As a result, Marten secured the trucking contract, purchased two tractor-trailer units and began what would become a long-term, profitable relationship with this dairy cooperative. At this point Roger focused on developing his interstate carrier business, serving customers in the Midwest and on the West Coast.

 

In 1965, a one-bay garage became Marten's first terminal in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Dry vans were added to the fleet to expand Marten's service to include dry milk products. Rogers' son Randy, also joined the company initially assisting with equipment maintenance and dispatch.

 

The 1970's are characterized best by the growth of Marten's routes by purchasing the then regulated routes of a number of upper Midwest firms. Six new trucks were added to the fleet in 1972 and Marten began hauling milk to Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, expanding the company's long haul milk transport business.

 

In 1976, the purchase of Hiawatha Produce out of Winona, Minnesota, moved the firm into the interstate hauling of perishable products with refrigerated trailers.  This acquisition was the start of Marten's long-distance hauling of perishable foods in refrigerated trailers and became the company's expertise.

 

Mondovi Terminal in 1981
Mondovi Terminal in 1981

In the early 1980's, the trucking industry was de-regulated and that allowed Marten to grow based on its reputation and ability to serve its customers. Marten began to serve a large "Fortune 500" clientele, consisting of companies such as 3M, COORS, Anheuser-Busch, Pillsbury, Kraft, Proctor and Gamble, and Philip Morris, to name a few. The company added service centers for its growing fleet in Ontario, CA; Aurora, OR; and Jonesboro, GA.

 

In 1985, Marten opened the Ontario, California terminal to better serve customers on the West Coast. In 1986 Marten began trading on the NASDAQ National Market at $13 per share. During the same year, Randy Marten became President, and the company exceeded $50 million in revenue and built a major expansion to its Mondovi headquarters. In 1989, temperature-sensitive transportation service became their company's focus. The Aurora, Oregon service center was opened.

 

Randy on Phone Photo
Randy Marten name President & CEO in 1993

In 1993, Marten suffered a tragic loss when Roger Marten passed away. To this day, there are many employees working at Marten who were hired by Roger. He is still sadly missed. Upon the death of his father, Randy Marten became the CEO of Marten Transport, Ltd., in addition to being President, and continues to lead Marten successfully and profitably. That same year, the company built a 15,000 square foot office expansion in Mondovi. A new terminal was added in Jonesboro, Georgia. Marten incorporated a satellite tracking system into the fleet to improve efficiency and communications with drivers.

 

Wilsonville Terminal Photo
Marten acquires it's Wilsonville Terminal in 1995

In 1995, the company positioned itself for maximum market flexibility with the addition of 53-foot trailers, and purchased a maintenance facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, near Portland.

 

Roger Marten Community Center Photo
Roger Marten Community Center dedicated in 1996

 

In 1996, Marten reached three historical milestones which make us feel very proud; the opening of the Roger Marten community Center in Mondovi, the completion of fifty years in business, and ten years as a publicly traded company. Operating in an industry as ever changing as temperature-controlled transportation, we are pleased to have ended most of our first fifty years in profitability with Marten's growth continuing into the new millennium.

 

In March 2000, Marten moved from the Jonesboro, Georgia terminal to a new facility located just a few miles away in the town of Forest Park. Our new Georgia terminal provides approximately twice the space to work on tractors, trailers, and reefers.

 

One of the fastest-growing areas of our business in 2000 was our dedicated operations - a way of capitalizing on the expanding demand of outsourced transportation services by creating new fleets or converting or supplementing existing private fleets. Our dedicated operations provide customers with drivers tractors, trailers and management services for their exclusive use.

 

In 2001, six words summarize Marten's performance in the difficult economic environment that overtook the trucking industry. Superior service, financial strength, and continued growth.

 

Our fifty-fifth year in business was a challenging one for our company and our industry. Considering the economic uncertainties in 2002, our plan was conservative, but flexible enough to expand with the economy. We had the resources - financial and human - to do that. Our priorities for the year were maintaining profitability, reducing debt and using our competitive advantages to win new business and grow with our existing customers.

 

Headquarters Expansion 
Corporate headquarters expanded in 2004

 

2004 was an especially exciting year for Marten. An 11,000 square foot expansion was added to the corporate headquarters. A new terminal opened in Indianapolis, Indiana. A plan was set in place to add more than 160 jobs during the next three years.

 

Randy Marten named VFW Citizen of the Year in 2004
Randy Marten named VFW Citizen of the Year in 2004

 

Randy Marten was named Mondovi VFW Citizen of the Year and earned a Lifetime Achievement award from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  Company revenue and net income rose to all-time highs.

 

In 2005, Marten was honored as one of the top 200 Best Small Businesses in America by Forbes magazine. The company was recognized as the best place to work in the area by Chippewa Valley B2B magazine and earned the Grand Prize for Safety for the Truckload Carriers Association. Randy Marten was individually awarded the Ernest & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award for Transportation in the Wisconsin Region. Marten also introduced Intermodal and Logistics divisions to diversify its offerings to customers.

 

Marten Intermodal Photo
Intermodal and Brokerage divisions take off in 2006

 

2006 saw continued growth at Marten Transport. Our logistics services unit, which includes both intermodal and brokerage, grew substantially through out the year. For a second consecutive year, we were named to the Forbes 200 Top Small Companies list.

 

2008 was noted as one of the most difficult operating environments Marten has seen in history. With skyrocketing fuel cost, reduced freight demand and distressed national economy, there were many obstacles to overcome. Marten however, was able to maintain and show profits while many competitors posted losses, parked equipment, and/or closed their doors. One of the many reasons for our success was the decision to add terminals in Texas and Virginia, as well as expand our regional operations at each terminal location. These services align us with the distribution and supply chain networks of many customers. Additionally, Marten Transport incorporated in Mexico offering temperature controlled "door to door" transportation services between origins and destinations in the US and Mexico. This additional service offering has expanded freight opportunities for OTR, Regional and Intermodal which meets the global needs of our customers and creates value for our shareholders!

 

2009 rounded out the decade with many of the same economic constraints as we experienced in the years prior. Increased cost, limited freight demand and distressed economy made for an uphill battle to be profitable. However, Marten employees and contractors worked diligently with customers, kept the trucks moving and reduced costs. Additionally, Intermodal and Brokerage opportunities experienced significant growth and profitability. The company was once again named one of the Best 200 Small Businesses in America. This was a significant honor as we had been included in this category four of the last five years, while being in the midst of a continued economic downturn.

 

Over the last few years the company's business model transitioned from largely over the road to predominately regional operations. In doing so we have added terminals in Arizona, Tennessee, Florida, Kansas and Pennsylvania to support our regional operations. This shift has enabled the company to provide added services and value to customers in specific traffic lanes as well as enable our employees added flexibility with home time and freight opportunities.

 

Marten Transport Front Photo
Marten's corporate headquarters in Mondovi Wisconsin

 

In summary, with more than half a century of experience Marten continues to push forward. Marten has grown from a small, regional carrier into one of the today's leading national protective service transportation companies. Marten still based out of Mondovi Wisconsin, is the premium carrier of temperature sensitive product. The company now serves a number of Fortune 500 companies. With terminals in Wisconsin, Georgia, California, Oregon, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Marten employs more than 2,700 people.

 

Randy continues the tradition of growth and vision, which has served the company so well.

 

At Marten Transport, Ltd., you can EXPECT THE BEST.


CELEBRATING OVER 65 YEARS OF BUSINESS.

Español