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Company History

Company History

Monroe Transportation Services began in 1928 under the name Monroe Cartage Company, located in Chicago, IL. John Davids purchased the company after the Great Depression in 1936, and after his unexpected death in 1949, brother-in-law Ralph Swierenga Sr. assumed leadership of the company. His personal qualities of honesty, integrity and dedication earned him the respect of his customers and a reputation for outstanding service, a legacy that endures today.

In 1987 Ralph Swierenga Jr. and his brother Jack took over the company as partners until Ralph Jr's untimely death in 1999. Today, Jack Swierenga continues to guide the company as President and CEO according to the values instilled under his father's and brother's leadership. A team of dedicated managers and employees work closely together to provide innovative logistical solutions to meet the unique needs of their customers. Monroe's history and long-standing reputation as a quality carrier are hallmarks of stability, experience and perseverance.

Jack Swierenga“We take great pride in providing innovative solutions to your transportation problems.”
Jack Swierenga
CEO & President

1930s

Monroe Transportation Services began in 1928 under the name "Monroe Cartage Company", located in Chicago, IL. The company was owned and operated by the Frey family until purchased by John Davids and his father in 1936 after the Great Depression.

1940s

After the unexpected death of John Davids in 1949, brother-in-law Ralph Swierenga Sr. was asked by the family to assume leadership of the company. His personal qualities of honesty, integrity and dedication earned him the respect of his customers, and a reputation for outstanding service, a legacy that endures today.

1950s

In the 1950's Monroe continued to grow under Ralph Sr.'s leadership and hard work, serving local Chicago customers under the logo "A Complete Trucking Service". As Chicago's population grew into suburban sprawl, Monroe moved its operation from Chicago into the western suburb of Broadview to better serve the growing industrial community.

1960s

In 1964, Monroe added a new up and coming customer by the name of Alberto Culver Co.. As the growth of this business continued, Monroe added tractor/trailers to its fleet of straight trucks for the first time.

1970s

In 1970 Monroe needed more space for its growing operation and purchased a 34-door terminal in Addison, IL, a western suburb, serving the local Chicago area, Rockford, IL, and northwest IN. Monroe also served several interstate carriers who were not permitted by the Interstate Commerce Commission to provide service beyond the Chicago city limits prior to Deregulation in 1980.

1980s

Deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 led to fierce competition and lower rates, but also more opportunity for growth into new markets. In 1985 after Ralph Swierenga Sr. retired and in 1987 passed away, Ralph Jr. and his brother Jack took over the company as partners. After adapting to the new industry environment under Deregulation, Monroe began growing again in the late 80's. In 1987 the company purchased its first computer system.

1990s

As Monroe entered the 90's the economy was growing and the company experienced substantial growth, and again a need for more space for its operation. In 1996 the company purchased 15 acres of land in Addison, IL and built a state-of-the-art 52 door, cross dock distribution center to better serve its customers.

Over the years, the company has adapted quickly to the changes and demands of the industry, maintaining a progressive attitude toward continuous improvement and a commitment to investing in the latest technology, supported by the dedication of its employees and the loyalty of its customers.

While the company's foundational principles have fueled its growth and success since 1928, Monroe continues to seek new ways to build upon customer relationships, develop dynamic growth opportunities and provide innovative service offerings.