Southeastern Freight Lines, the leading provider of regional less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation services, is celebrating its 70th anniversary of providing quality without question service after its founding in 1950, including 70-year milestones at its first service centers in Columbia, South Carolina, and Atlanta.
Starting the Journey in South Carolina
Then, serving as Southeastern’s corporate office and headquarters, the Columbia service center originally employed seven to eight people who served the corporate office and also ran the terminal. Today, the Columbia service center has grown to 102 dock doors and more than 161 employees and is located at 4025 Sunset Blvd. The corporate office employs an additional 542 employees out of its Lexington, South Carolina, headquarters at 420 Davega Road.
Expanding to Atlanta
Even when Founder W.T. Cassels Sr. made the first deliveries for Southeastern Freight Lines from Columbia, he was already planning the company’s expansion into Georgia. The Atlanta service center was the second Southeastern terminal to open and operated out of a filling station for the first few years. There were no interstates in the 1950s, so drivers traveled on a two-lane road from Columbia to Atlanta. Today, the facility has grown to 140 dock doors and more than 330 associates and is currently located at 4061 Moreland Avenue in Conley, Georgia.
Building a Legacy
To start Southeastern Freight Lines, Cassels Sr. took out a loan for $5,000 for working capital and started with 12 trucks, 20 people and a philosophy about how to run his business.
“Our company has weathered many storms since my grandfather made Southeastern’s first delivery, and I’m proud to carry forward his legacy of building roots in each community where we operate,” said W. Tobin Cassels III, president of Southeastern Freight Lines. “While the trucking industry has evolved in many ways over the past 70 years, along with the changing landscape of technology and infrastructure, the mission of the company remains the same: to meet or exceed the needs of every customer – every single time.”
The company now operates 89 service centers, employing more than 8,211 associates across 13 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, and has undergone numerous upgrades in trucks and trucking technologies to provide essential services and support the country’s vital supply chain needs.
Visit the Southeastern Freight Lines YouTube channel to learn more about the founding and history of the company from Chairman W.T. Cassels Jr.