The nation’s largest private carrier, Estes Express Lines, said Tuesday that Webb Estes has been named president and chief operating officer.
Estes is a fourth-generation leader for the family-owned, less-than-truckload carrier based in Richmond, Virginia. He most recently headed process improvement. He started his career at Estes, moving freight on the docks and driving trucks, eventually becoming a terminal manager in Pittsburgh. In his latest role, he had oversight of a good portion of the company’s daily operations, including leading numerous tech initiatives and human resources.
He was also the point person of the acquisition of seven terminals and more than 1,000 trucks from Central Freight Lines, following that company’s closure at the end of 2021.
“I’m excited to be in front of more customers to make sure they know about our APIs and all of the data points that we are providing that we think are game-changers in our space,” Webb Estes told FreightWaves.
Former President Rob Estes will continue in his roles as chairman and CEO. He said he will focus more on the operations of Estes Forwarding Worldwide (EFW), a $320 million business where he sees the potential for tuck-in acquisitions, and the company’s logistics unit, which provides dedicated transportation under an asset-based and independent contractor model.
“While many competitors have struggled these last few years, Estes continues to grow and thrive — and so much of that is due to Webb’s passion for our company and his vision for what it means to be a leading-edge logistics provider,” Rob Estes commented. “His transition to president and COO makes it abundantly clear: Estes is in business for the long haul.”
Billy Hupp, who served as vice president and chief operating officer, has become vice chairman and corporate executive vice president.
The Tuesday announcement is part of the company’s succession plan, which will ultimately see Webb Estes take over completely upon his father Rob Estes’ retirement.
“Leading a dynamic company with such a rich history of excellence is no small feat, and I’m both humbled and grateful for this opportunity — and for the support of our teammates across America,” Webb Estes said.
Estes is a top-five LTL carrier, with 22,000 employees operating 278 terminals (more than 10,000 doors) in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. The company also provides truckload, time-critical guaranteed, custom shipping and final-mile services.
“For nearly a century, Estes has helped shape and lead the logistics industry, and I’m thrilled to carry on our tradition of customer-focused vision, innovation and success,” Webb Estes said. “I’m coming into a dream scenario. Estes is debt free and privately held. Those two things alone provide me a lot of flexibility in being able to think future. … We’re always thinking longer term.”
More FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden
Carrier Update: Van rejection rates by lane