Roger Marten founded Marten Transport in 1946 at the age of 17, delivering milk and other dairy products. His routes were primarily in the Modena, Wisconsin area where he was born and raised. Driving for the Modena Co-op Creamery, Roger purchased his first truck route with a $400 loan from his mother.
In the 1950s, 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, Wis. Marten's volume doubled after the acquisition of Mondovi Trucking Co. in 1959. The following year Marten added a tandem axle tractor to its fleet.
In 1962, the Land O' Lakes drying operation in Mondovi closed, creating a need for a milk transporter. Marten secured a contract to haul the products, purchased two tractor-trailer units and began what would become a long-term, profitable relationship with this dairy cooperative.
Having experienced some regional success in the early 1960s, Roger began to develop his interstate carrier business. His initial focus was on serving customers in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Roger made a decision to secure his company's roots by planning a small office complex and service terminal on the property that now houses the current corporate headquarters in Mondovi, Wis.
In 1965, a one-bay garage (in Mondovi) became Marten's first terminal. That same year Roger's son, Randy, joined the company, initially assisting with equipment maintenance and dispatch. Dry vans were also added to the fleet to expand Marten's service to include dry milk products.
By 1972, six new trucks had been added to the fleet and Marten began hauling milk to Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, expanding the company's long-haul milk transport business. In 1976, Marten purchased Hiawatha Produce of Winona, Minnesota. This acquisition was the start of Marten's long-distance hauling of perishable foods in refrigerated trailers.
Marten opened its Ontario, California terminal in 1985 to better serve customers on the West Coast. In 1986, Marten began trading on the NASDAQ National Market. That same year, Marten named Randy Marten President, the company exceeded $50 million in revenue for the first time, and built a major expansion to its Mondovi headquarters.
Electronic Data Interchange (or EDI) was implemented in 1987, allowing for more efficient flow of information between Marten and its high volume customers. In 1989, temperature-sensitive transportation service became the company's primary focus and the Aurora, Oregon service center was opened.
In 1993, Marten surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, but it also suffered the tragic loss of company-founder Roger Marten. After his father's passing Randy Marten assumed the primary leadership role for the company. During that year, Randy oversaw the completion of a 15,000-square foot corporate office expansion, the addition of a new terminal in Jonesboro, Georgia and the implementation of a satellite tracking system.
The company made a strategic decision to begin hauling 53-foot trailers in 1995. The new equipment allowed Marten to position itself for maximum market flexibility. It also purchased a maintenance facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, near Portland and grew its fleet to more than 1,000 tractors.
In 1996, Marten reached three historical milestones; it opened the Roger Marten Community Center in Mondovi, celebrated 50 years in business, and 10 years as a publicly traded company.
In March of 2000, Marten moved from the Jonesboro, Georgia terminal to a new facility in the town of Forest Park (in the Atlanta metro area). A new state-of-the art video conferencing platform was added in 2001. The new technology allowed Marten to extend training, driver seminars and orientation classes to its terminal locations.
In 2002, Marten introduced its own in-house video production department. Using state-of-the-art digital equipment and computer-based non-linear editing, Marten began to produce customized training materials, radio ads and video productions to address specific needs. The department has further evolved into New Media Development, where it now supports the company's efforts through the creation of technological, promotional and instructional resources.
An 11,000 square foot expansion was added to the corporate headquarters in 2004 and a new terminal opened in Indianapolis, Ind. A plan was set in place to add more then 160 jobs during the next three years. 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 the past several years, Marten has been recognized for its ongoing commitment to be the best. The company has been named one of the 200 best small businesses in America by Forbes magazine in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Company CEO, Randy Marten earned the distinction as a regional winner of Ernst & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur Of The Year award for Transportation in the Wisconsin Region ('05).
Marten was selected as "The Best Place to Work" in the area by Chippewa Valley B2B magazine and also earned the Grand Prize for Safety from the Truckload Carriers Association. But beyond the awards, Marten continued its push forward, by introducing Intermodal and Logistics divisions to diversify its offerings to customers.
Marten has enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years. Because of the company's strong client base and numerous advantages for drivers, Marten has not only withstood economic ups and downs, we’ve continued to thrive. By opening new terminals, launching new regional runs and adding new trucks to its fleet, Marten expects to continue its winning streak far into the future
With more than 60 years of experience Marten Transport continues to push forward. The company has grown from a small, regional carrier into one of today's leading national protective service transportation companies. With terminals in Wisconsin (corporate facility), Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kansas, Marten serves customers across 48 states and Canada. Today, the company that started out as one young man's dream, employs more than 2,400 people as it carries on its founder's philosophy of "Expecting the Best."