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Witte Bros. Exchange
The Witte Family of Companies began in 1946 when Clem Witte purchased tractor-trailers that he used to haul cattle from Little Rock, Arkansas to St. Louis, Missouri to resell to local farmers and sale barns as well as restock his own herd in Troy. In 1949, Clem decided to hand over the transportation side of the business and sell his trucks and trailers to his sons, Martin and Jim. Their other brother, Harry, joined the business in 1953.
The Witte brothers purchased property and constructed a small office, warehouse, and truck terminal where they grew the trucking side of the business to run long-haul teams of drivers hauling livestock. During the 1960s, they opened a feed supply business that eventually expanded with the development of a cattle feedlot in southwest Troy.
In the 1970s, the business took a bigger dive into the cattle feedlot business and kept the truckline very busy hauling cattle for themselves, while continuing to move livestock for others. Jim took over the role of buying and selling cattle, Harry oversaw the truckline and accounting for the businesses, and Joe Witte joined the company to run the local feedlot operations. Their cattle began to exceed their capacity, so they rented additional facilities throughout the country.
With the ever-changing prices of beef and cattle futures in the 1980s and the unpredictable outcomes of live animals, the brothers decided it was time to reduce their reliance on cattle. They sold 95% of their cattle holdings and took the proceeds to expand their truck fleet into the wide open world of trucking. They purchased new refrigerated trailers and used trucks, converted the original feed store into dispatch offices, and built a new shop for maintenance. The business continued to grow during the 80s and they transported fresh produce, frozen goods, coffee, and many more consumer goods. The company focused on customer service and continued to prosper with the help of a dedicated staff.
Harry became the sole owner of the companies and the 90s brought an opportunity to begin a new service. Witte partnered with a St. Louis-based cold storage facility to offer frozen and refrigerated less-than-truckload (LTL) service to the 48 states nationwide. This small niche grew to become a major part of the business and enabled us to separate from our partner. During this time, Harry’s children Brent, Chad, and Lila joined the company.
The continued growth required more land and facilities. In 1999, Witte Bros. Exchange purchased 30 acres west of Troy and started a building expansion. During the 2000s, an expanded maintenance facility was erected, a two-story office building was constructed, and a temperature-controlled 33-door cross-dock facility was built.
Today, the company sits on 80 acres, operates 200 tractors, 275 trailers, a 20,000 pallet-position cold storage facility, and employs over 300 persons. With a concentration in the perishable food supply chain, Witte Bros. offers nationwide truckload, LTL, logistics, and cold storage options for a wide range of customers. We continue to focus on customer service and strive to offer a great place for employees to call home. The company is still led by family, with Brent Witte, Chad Witte, and Vaughn McDowell at the helm.
Humble beginnings transporting cattle back to a farmstead grew into a premier provider of transportation and logistics services. We’ve adapted to industry changes and implemented leading technological solutions over the years and are ready to continue influencing the future.
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Witte Bros. delivers quality service nationwide.
Our mission at Witte Bros. Exchange, Inc. is to continue to be the leader in refrigerated product distribution throughout the United States and put the safest drivers on the road through our training program. We take pride in our dedication to exceptional customer service and on-time delivery, LTL, logistics, and cold storage services.