Company Updates

EFW Celebrates 10 Years of Service and Success

Sep 03, 2013

Like all good success stories, this one started with an innovative idea. What if one of the largest LTL carriers could offer customers logistical solutions on a global scale?

“When we first considered the idea of expanding into air freight forwarding, we had to think about both short- and long-term consequences, and both looked favorable. It was clear that it would be a good diversification strategy, making Estes less vulnerable to economic peaks and valleys.”

Rob Estes, president and CEO, Estes Express Lines

It was a decision that paid off. In just the first four months of business, EFW generated more than $565,000 in revenue. Today, EFW generates more than $100 million in revenue annually, with 13 strategically placed stations and 182 employees nationwide.

“Our first hurdle in starting the company was to actually execute our plan. We had to deliver a great customer experience and be easy to do business with.”

Scott Fisher, president and CEO, EFW

One of EFW’s advantages in the early days was the fact that it was a non-asset based organization that could tap into Estes assets as needed. The division was able to leverage the Estes LTL network as appropriate, and as it grew, the strong collaboration became evident. Since EFW’s inception the combined efforts of the Estes and EFW sales teams have reached over $450 million in revenue.

It was a humble beginning for a company that has been named three times to INC. Magazine’s 500|5000 list, an exclusive annual ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies. EFW ranked at number 1,815 overall and at number 53 among logistics and transportation companies in 2013.

Fisher attributes much of the company’s success to its culture and that includes its commitment to being a good community partner. In 2009, EFW created a formal community outreach program that supports both local and national charities. But it doesn’t stop there. EFW is also very involved when it comes to lending a helping hand in emergency situations and disaster relief efforts; often this means tendering thousands of shipments in a matter of days to bring supplies to these hard hit areas.

“After 10 years, the spirit of our organization is alive and well. We’ve maintained our entrepreneurial feel from the early years, which continues to fuel our engines,” he said. “With a long-term goal in place, we are excited about the company’s future and embrace this goal with one important caveat—quality will never be compromised by quantity.”

Estes Forwarding Worldwide: A 10-Year Retrospective

Achieving specific milestones along the way has helped EFW create the new opportunities that have paved the way to success.

  • 2006: Estes Air (renamed Estes Forwarding Worldwide in 2009) moves to its own headquarters in Richmond.
  • 2007: Estes Air becomes full subsidiary of Estes rather than just a division.
  • 2008: Estes Air becomes NVOCC-licensed customs house brokerage with a global division headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • 2009: Estes Air Forwarding becomes Estes Forwarding Worldwide to reflect the broader scope of services offered. The organization establishes an exhibit services team. EFW adds C-TPAT to its list of certifications and opens the Chicago and Harrisburg stations.
  • 2011: EFW adds truckload services.
  • 2012: EFW exceeds $100 million revenue mark.
  • 2010–2013: EFW adds 11 additional stations around the country and decentralizes operating model.