The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

Penske History

Since 1969, Penske Truck Leasing has grown from a three-location rental and lease business to a multibillion-dollar transportation services company spanning the globe. We have led the industry with an unwavering commitment to customer service and innovation.

A Vision for Growth and Innovation

Roger Penske founded our company Dec. 1, 1969, after purchasing a car and light-truck rental and leasing business serving eastern Pennsylvania, with just three locations. By 1981, the company had grown to 33 facilities staffed by 420 employees and generating annual sales of more than $40 million.

In 1982, we joined with the Hertz Truck Division to form Hertz-Penske Truck Leasing. The company acquired Goldston in 1983 and Leaseway Transportation's truck renting and leasing business in 1986. With 102 locations and 2,300 associates, the company generated annual revenues of $200 million.

In 1988, Hertz exited the business, and Penske Corp. entered into a joint venture with GE Capital pursuant to which GE contributed its Gelco Truck Leasing business, and the parties formed Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.

Logistics and Supply Chain Business Expands Worldwide

In 1995, Penske expanded its logistics business when it acquired the entire business of Leaseway Transportation Corp., and continued to expand internationally by establishing Penske Logistics Europe in 1997. The company dramatically increased its presence in the European market with the 1998 purchase of Transportgroep van der Graaf, a Netherlands-based transportation and warehouse provider.

Also in 1998, we formed a joint venture with Cotia Trading to provide logistics services in South America. We acquired Cotia Trading's remaining interest in that company in 2005 and have conducted business as Penske Logistics Brazil since then. Also in 2005, we formed a joint venture with Victory Express to provide logistics services in China. In 2007, we bought Victory Express' remaining interest in the company. In 2015, Penske Logistics acquired Transfreight North America. This acquisition increased its supply chain solutions offerings and capabilities in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

A New Century of Investment and Expansion

The turn of the century saw Penske Truck Leasing develop fully into its role as a global transportation leader. We purchased Canada's Rentway Ltd. in 2000 and Wilmington, Delaware-based Rollins Truck Leasing in 2001. In 2004, we acquired the full-service truck leasing, rental, maintenance and logistics operations of AMI Leasing from Ford Motor Credit.

In 2010, we continued our U.S. commercial truck leasing expansion efforts with the acquisition of Texas-based Bright Truck Leasing and Distribution, a privately owned full-service truck leasing, truck maintenance, rental and logistics services provider. The acquisition added approximately 3,400 tractors, trucks and trailers to our fleet and several important truck leasing, truck rental and logistics customers.

Recognizing potential opportunities in 2014, Penske Truck Leasing expanded its truck rental and leasing services in Australia through collaboration with Brisbane, Australia-based Penske Commercial Vehicles, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group. The truck rental venture operates under the brand name Penske Truck Rental. The collaboration combines Penske Truck Leasing's fleet operations expertise with the local market knowledge of Penske Commercial Vehicles.

In 2015, we welcomed new investment partners as Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co., Ltd. acquired a 20% limited partnership interest in Penske Truck Leasing from GE Capital. Similarly, in 2016, Penske Automotive Group increased its investment in Penske Truck Leasing by acquiring an additional 14.4% interest from GE Capital. We continue to benefit from strong, stable and long-term partners at Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

In 2017, Penske Truck Leasing continued to grow and expand its truck rental, leasing and logistics operations both organically and with the acquisition of Richmond, Virginia-based Old Dominion Truck Leasing. Later in the year, Penske Automotive Group and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. once again showed confidence in Penske Truck Leasing by increasing their ownership positions in the company. These additional investments also marked the exit of General Electric from our business.

Ushering in a New Era of Vehicle Technologies

In 2018, a robust economy resulted in one of the best freight tonnage markets in 20 years, according to the American Trucking Associations. This and other factors contributed to a strong year for Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics. In its 49th year of operation, Penske Truck Leasing made significant investments in new vehicles, new and upgraded facilities, technology, safety, sustainability and hiring across its truck leasing, truck rental, logistics and used truck businesses.

Connected Fleets and Commercial Electric Trucks Emerge

Throughout 2018, Penske Truck Leasing helped usher in a new era and boosted its innovative technological capabilities and efforts around connected and battery-electric commercial vehicles. Penske remained at the epicenter of the changes underway in the transportation and logistics industry.

Penske Truck Leasing continued its expansion and use of connected fleet solutions and remote diagnostics and implemented an industry-leading voice-directed preventive maintenance technology system and Dynamic PM® process.

The company also began working behind the scenes for industry standardization around the charging of high-power commercial electric vehicles, leveraging big data from connected fleets, and exploring possibilities for blockchain and robotic process automation use in its businesses. Penske also introduced new and enhanced digital tools for its private fleet customers and their truck drivers, including new mobile phone applications and a newly updated customer website portal.

First Commercial Electric Trucks Introduced

Notably in 2018, Penske Truck Leasing announced it was adding 10 eM2 commercial electric medium-duty trucks and 10 heavy-duty commercial eCascadia electric trucks for use in California and the Pacific Northwest in a unique co-creation effort with Daimler Trucks North America.

In late 2018, Penske Truck Leasing became the first company ever in North America to put an electric commercial vehicle into its fleet by introducing the Freightliner eM2 medium-duty commercial electric vehicle. At the same time, Penske Truck Leasing also announced that it began installing 20 electric commercial vehicle charging stations at five facilities in California to support electric vehicles.

Leading the Way with Commercial Electric Trucks

Throughout 2019, Penske Truck Leasing continued to lead the way with bringing commercial electric vehicles to market and putting them on the road in real-world, over-the-road working conditions, opening charging stations and implementing new electric vehicle maintenance practices.

Following the 2018 introduction of the Freightliner eM2 into its fleet, Penske added subsequent electric trucks in 2019, including additional eM2s, FUSO eCanter battery-electric work trucks, and the Kalmar Ottowa Electric Terminal Tractor (T2E).

Most notably, Penske Truck Leasing took delivery of the very first Class 8 heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadia semi-trucks from Daimler Truck North America. These units were quickly put to work in its subsidiary's dedicated contract carriage fleet at Penske Logistics.

By December 2019, Penske Logistics had successfully logged more than 10,000 over-the-road miles making multiple, daily store deliveries on dedicated routes in Southern California for a leading quick service restaurant chain with two Freightliner Innovation Fleet eCascadias. Penske Logistics believes it was the first truck fleet operator in the United States to achieve such a feat with a heavy-duty electric semi-truck.

Delivering on its previous commitments to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure at its facilities, Penske Truck Leasing opened commercial heavy-duty electric vehicle charging stations with 14 high-speed chargers at four of its existing facilities in Southern California. The company's near-term plan includes adding at least six more, bringing the total to 20. Penske believes these were the first DC fast charging stations in the U.S. designed specifically for heavy-duty commercial electric vehicles. Additional charging station capabilities are planned.

Logistics and Supply Chain Innovations and Investments

Penske Logistics continues its growth and investment in people, facilities, technology, and advancing safety and sustainability.

In 2018, notable efforts for Penske Logistics included the addition of onboard cameras in its trucking fleet, expanding the capabilities of its ClearChain® technology suite. A notable acquisition in 2018 supporting logistics and supply chain capabilities included the addition of Epes Transport System.

In 2019, Penske Logistics made history for being one of the first truck fleets to ever use commercial heavy-duty electric semi-trucks for over-the-road store deliveries as well as testing electric terminal yard tractors.

Both the Class 8 electric semi-trucks and the electric yard trucks are being used in Southern California. While the electric semi-trucks perform daily store deliveries over the road, the electric terminal tractor or yard truck is designed for trailer-handling operations in truck yards, warehousing and distribution centers, container terminals and related operations where short-distance travel is required.

Penske Logistics' continued investments in sustainability related to its fleet continued to earn it accolades. For the fourth time this decade, Penske Logistics was honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its truck sustainability efforts, collecting a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award.

In 2019, Penske Logistics also celebrated the grand opening of its new 606,000-square-foot build-to-suit standard freezer/cooler distribution center in Romulus, Michigan. Penske's new facility is responsible for bringing more than 400 new jobs to the region and was opened to serve the food distribution needs of its customer. Construction of the $98.5 million facility began in the fall of 2017 and concluded in the fall of 2018. The new facility opened for full operation in June 2019.

Celebrating Penske Truck Leasing's 50th Year in Business

In 2019, Penske Truck Leasing marked its 50th anniversary in business. To celebrate the milestone anniversary and thank associates for their role in the company's success, Penske conducted a 110-city truck tour throughout the U.S. and Canada. Other locations enjoyed local celebrations. A historical archive display was also created that is now a fixture in the headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Throughout 2019, Penske's leadership and its associates made a concerted effort to make community service through volunteerism a major part of the celebration and underscoring the company's commitment to the communities where these associates live and work. To help commemorate the company's 50th anniversary, the Pennsylvania State Senate declared Dec. 1, 2019, as Penske Truck Leasing Day.

In addition to the historic milestone of the company's anniversary, company founder Roger S. Penske received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his success in business, motorsports and philanthropic efforts. This prestigious award is the nation's highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President of the United States to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Introducing a New Brand: Penske Transportation Solutions

Throughout its 50-year history, Penske Truck Leasing has developed vast capabilities serving a broad range of customers in diverse industries. To better represent the breadth of its capabilities and to position the organization for the future development and the potential acquisition of new product and service offerings, the company introduced a new umbrella brand name in 2019: Penske Transportation Solutions

Penske Transportation Solutions is now the umbrella brand for Penske Truck Leasing, Penske Logistics, Epes Transport Systems and Penske Vehicle Services. Our businesses provide innovative transportation, supply chain and technology solutions to keep the world moving forward.

Penske is Always Moving Forward

At Penske Transportation Solutions, we move the things that move the world forward. We continue to invest, grow and provide the innovative transportation and supply chain solutions needed by our customers around the globe.

Penske Truck Leasing is a leading transportation services provider that operates and maintains a fleet of more than 327,000 vehicles. We offer full-service truck leasing, contract fleet maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, and used truck sales. We serve our customers through an expansive network of over 776 service locations in North America.

Penske Logistics operates approximately 400 locations across North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Penske's supply chain and logistics solutions include dedicated contract carriage, distribution center and warehouse management, transportation management, lead logistics, freight management and consulting.

Combined, Penske Transportation Solutions, headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, has businesses that generate more than $9 billion in annual revenue and employ approximately 35,000 associates worldwide.

Last updated: March 10, 2020

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