In the 1930’s, John H. “Red” Dove began his association with the transportation industry by working with his father hauling logs from the Alabama woods to sawmills. In 1951, Mr. Dove bought an interest in P.C. White Truck Lines. In 1955, he purchased the remaining ownership interest in P.C. White Truck Lines and changed the name to AAA Motor Lines. His sons, Earl and Mack, received their degrees in Transportation from the University of Tennessee and joined the family firm between 1959 and 1962.
The decades of the fifties, sixties, and the early seventies were a time of very tight regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), a former independent agency of the U.S. government. It was obvious that the only method by which the Company could grow would be to purchase other operating routes, or companies who possessed routes that were not being operated to their greatest potential. Thus, in 1969, AAA Motor Lines Inc., bought Cooper Transfer Company Inc. In 1973 Mack and Earl bought their father’s interest in the Company and merged AAA Motor Lines and Cooper Transfer Company, Inc. The resulting company was called AAA Cooper Transportation (ACT).
In 1973 Mack and Earl recognized the inevitability of industry deregulation and began to position the Company for that occurrence through improved cost measurement systems and management training. In 1976, the Company obtained approval from the ICC to serve all of Florida. Complete deregulation of the industry began in July 1980 with the passage of The Motor Carrier Improvement Act of 1980. Meanwhile, ACT completed its opening of Florida and in 1978 bought expansive authority to operate in Georgia, North and South Carolina. As a result the Company entered the decade of the 70’s with $3 million in annual sales and ended the decade with $43 million in sales .
ACT continued its rapid expansion during the 1980’s by purchasing Haynes Motor Lines in 1986 which added nine new terminals. In January, 1989, Earl sold his 50% ownership in the company to Mack. In early 1990, ACT purchased nine terminals from the former Bowman Transportation Company. These facilities were used for new terminal openings and relocating certain existing terminals for expanded and improved service. By 1989, annual sales had increased to $136 million.
During the nineties, ACT’s terminal network in the South continued to expand. In 1994, ACT opened its first terminal outside of the Southeast in Chicago. Later that year, ACT opened a terminal in Minneapolis. These locations were selected due to numerous customer requests for quick and efficient service to the upper mid-west from the Southeast. Also in this year Mack’s son, Reid, joined the company after his graduation from Auburn University. Reid has held many positions in the Company from Truck Washer to Driver to Terminal Manager, was named President of the Company in 2001 and has stepped in to continue the quality leadership and guidance to start another generation of success at AAA Cooper Transportation.
In 1997, our “Truck-to-Ship-to-Truck” service was added for the island of Puerto Rico. Since then, we have grown to be one of the leading LTL service providers on the island. Through successful partnerships, ACT’s international service also extends to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
A Dedicated Contract Carriage offering was formally established in 2002 and we expanded our LTL service to all of Texas and Cincinnati in 2005. In 2006 annual revenue of the Company surpassed $500 million for the first time.