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Between 1939 & 1948, the the company hauled an estimated 37 million chickens to
In 1938, Willis D. Shaw entered the
trucking industry as an individual hauler. During the following years, Mr. Shaw pioneered
the transportation of live poultry out of the northwest Arkansas production area into the
markets of Illinois, Georgia, Texas and California.
the years of 1939 and 1948, the corporation was known as Willis Shaw Produce. During this
decade, the company hauled an estimated 37 million chickens to market. With the
introduction of the new field of frozen food transportation in 1948, the firm truly began
to recognize its potential. Initially, frozen poultry formed the basis for all its
By 1954, with the acquisition of new authority and operating rights, fresh and frozen
commodities were being transported in mixed shipments to and from every state in the
nation. Interstate authority from the ICC was granted to Willis Shaw to operate as a
contract carrier for frozen foods in 1957. The following year the permit was changed to a
common carrier certificate.
This authority held by
the company was transferred to Willis Shaw Frozen Express, Inc. when the company
incorporated on May 27, 1958. The same year, the National Transportation Act brought the
transportation of frozen fruits, berries, and vegetables under economic regulation. In
response, the company applied for grandfather authority and, after going to the U.S.
Supreme Court, eventually won authority to transport these commodities between points in
To provide quality customer service, a division office was soon
opened in Boise, ID. Additionally, operating rights have been acquired through purchases
of portions of the operating rights of Refrigerated Transport in 1962, Pelham
Transportation Co, in 1963, Idaho Trucking Company in 1965, Monsen Trucking Company in
1967, H.R. Cook Truck Lines in 1967, and Bonney Motor Lines in 1970.
In 1968 negotiations began between the Willis Shaw Frozen Express
and Del Monte Corp. Subsequently, WSE was acquired by Del Monte in late 1970, becoming
part of Distribution Systems, Inc. Later, however, Del Monte Corp. was acquired by R.J.
Reynolds, Inc. Distribution Systems was disbanded and Willis Shaw Frozen Express was
reacquired by its management team on October 1, 1983.
1987, Willis Shaw Frozen Express, Inc. was acquired by Comcar
Industries of Auburndale, Florida. In 1993,
Willis Shaw Frozen Express and Comcar Industries other refrigerated hauler, Clay
Hyder Trucking Lines, Inc. were merged to form Willis Shaw Express, Inc.
Today, Willis Shaw Express, Inc. stands as a financially sound
irregular route motor common and contract carrier with revenues in excess of $100 million;
dedicated to safety on Americas highways and meeting the needs of the shipping