Company History

The constant themes throughout our company’s history are that of growth and ingenuity. From our humble beginnings with a handful of trucks in 1983 to always being on the lookout for ways to solve customer needs, we’ve become the industry leader in project cargo, long haul, and heavy haul in the greater Pacific Northwest.

We’ve never stopped adapting and expanding and we have no plans to stop now.

Just a handful of trucks servicing the lower 48

United Motor Freight was founded in 1983 by current owners Jeff Landstrom and Gordon Newton. In our formative years, we started out hauling freight in the lower 48 states of the U.S. with just a handful of trucks. We thought everything was fine like this until more and more customers needed help getting their cargo off of ocean vessels.

“We can do that!”

So we told them, “We can do that!” and invested in a couple of lift trucks. We expanded our services to include de-vanning ocean containers and hauling the freight inland. From that we developed a little bit of local container hauling business.

Well, several steamship companies got wind that we were bringing containers over to our container freight station (CFS) and de-vanning and trans-loading. They called and asked if we could haul a few of their containers around town and maybe make some local deliveries and then dray the loads and empties between the piers and the rail yards. So we told them, “We can do that!”

And then we got real busy real fast. In fact, in the early 1990s we had all we could do to keep up with the demand for hauling loads as well as empty containers from the rail to the piers, and then back from the pier to the rail! These activities were the basis for a great business, but we kept looking around for other customer needs that needed filling.

Breaking into import and export

And of course we found them. After a couple of years going between the piers and the rail yards, we shifted our attention to the growing demand for delivery of import loads and drayage of export loads.

What can we say? We’re never satisfied for long with the status quo. Plus, we’d been keenly watching the new developments at the piers where the steamship lines and port management were moving to on-dock rail systems where the ocean containers would come off the ship and be loaded right onto a freight train.

 The times they were a-changing

Thanks to our crack management team, we anticipated the impact that the move to on-dock rail would have and shifted our focus accordingly to a door store/store door operation where we picked up and delivered loads from and to local companies. We hauled everything from foodstuffs, clothing, office machines, and hot tubs to all types of machinery.

And then we looked around again and found a growing need for specialized transportation services. And we were off…

He ain’t heavy, he’s my project cargo

…to the point today, where we offer unparalleled expertise, experience, and customer service. We have the know-how, the facilities, and the equipment to handle just about anything you could possibly imagine.

Today, we specialize in:

And who knows what’s next?

Call us today for expert advice and outstanding customer service. We’re looking forward to working with you!