Let’s go way back.
Williams Paper Company was started by Sunset Transportation owner and founder, Jim Williams’ grandfather, and remains in operation today as one of St. Louis’s oldest family-owned businesses. This is important because 109 years later…
1970-88 Jim Williams dips his toes into transportation under the umbrella of Williams Paper Company.
…through Williams Paper Company, Jim began managing the business’s fleet of trucks. He established a successful and profitable backhaul program, which grew into its own transportation entity within the paper company business.
It was also during this time Jim worked as a freight agent for Keyway.
Sunset Transportation is born!
Jim Williams founds and begins operating Sunset Transportation in November 1989 at his home on Workbench Drive in Sunset Hills, Missouri, with two other employees including his sister-in-law, Barb (in the pink on the left, next to Betty Williams).
During the first years, Jim was agent for several smaller carriers, operating with the same philosophy he started with; using trusted, smaller carriers for freight while nurturing relationships backhauls and customer-specific lanes.
Within the first year, Sunset’s Quick Pay program for local St. Louis carriers was created.
Sunset moves to its first standalone building.
Sunset moves to its first brick-and-mortar location on Lindbergh Road in Sunset Hills, Missouri, with five employees, including those working for Sunset Financial Services.
Sunset Financial Services and PayLOGIK established.
As Sunset Transportation’s customer base grew, so did their needs. Sunset Financial Services was created as a separate service to provide customers with a proprietary freight audit and payment system — PayLOGIK. This software and service was on the cutting edge for its time and for a small but growing 3PL.
Sunset starts Agent division.
Jim solicited experienced people to become independent brokers, or agents. His rule of having six months’ experience remains a Sunset quality standard.
Today, there are over 20 agent offices across the U.S., and over 60 employees who call Sunset’s Agent program home.
Sunset moves to second location just three years later.
Sunset moves to a second, larger location on Gravois Road in Sunset Hills, accommodating 12 people in Brokerage, Operations, Pricing, Accounting, and HR.
Scouting for Food & Sunset team up!
Jim partners with the Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America to execute the largest one-day food drive in America. In November 2004, Sunset Transportation started handling the delivery and logistics support for Scouting for Food.
Every year since, this event has grown in participation and in our hearts, become part of Sunset’s service-based culture with many of our staff contributing their time and logistics expertise year over year. We’re proud to serve our 19th year with the Scouts in 2022.
Lindsey Williams (Graves) joins the Sunset team.
Sunset welcomes the second generation of Sunset to the team Jim’s daughter, Lindsey Williams (now Graves). Lindsey joined the family business working in Accounts Payable and Operations Support. Her journey to being named CEO in 2020 was paved with fundamental, hands-on experience in nearly every department, including Accounting, Marketing, Brokerage Operations, HR, and IT.
Sunset becomes NVOCC certified.
Sunset soars into international business using nearby Scott Air Force Base and a program they created for Chinese imports. We apply for and receive certification in 2007.
Sunset currently maintains NVOCC certification and international logistics remains a key service offered by Sunset.
On the move again!
In January,Sunset moves into the third building location at 11325 Concord Village Avenue in Sunset Hills, Missouri. Sunset resides here for nine years.
Sunset goes live with McLeod software’s PowerBroker product.
This decision was pivotal to set the stage for a over 10 years of Sunset’s healthy, sustained growth.
In 2012, Sunset begins leveraging PowerBroker’s LTL offerings into what would go on to become Sunset’s FreightLOGIK technology.
And the award goes to….
In 2011, Jim Williams earns an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® award in the Central Midwest area for outstanding growth and innovation in the area of technology. In the same year, Jim is awarded the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor, the Silver Beaver Award. This award recognizes Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.
Lindsey Graves also received the Silver Beaver Award in 2019.
First appearance on Inc. magazine’s INC 5000 Fastest Growing Company list.
Sunset is a 10-year honoree in 2022.
Sunset expands by two offices.
The national footprint grows when established and successful branches join the Sunset family in Grand Haven, Michigan and Wilson, North Carolina.
Sunset is bursting at the seams.
Sunset Financial Services moves to Sunset’s second location in St. Louis, across the street from Concord Village, to accommodate overall company growth demands and organizational efficiency.
First organic office opens in Nashville, Tennessee.
Blame it all on our roots, we showed up in boots in Nashville, Tennessee as our first home-grown branch office is opened. Managing Director Jonathan Falcon leads a growing team of freight brokers and sets the stage for continued success in Tennessee.
Sunset + historic solar eclipse = cosmic growth?
In August 2017, a historic total solar eclipse occurred and caused a national watch party across Sunset’s branches. Later that year, Sunset climbed to over 100 employees.
Coincidence? Probably not. But we had a blast watching the eclipse occur in all Sunset branches in real time.
Snowland becomes Sunset Transportation!
In February, Sunset adds another two branch offices, formerly known as Snowland Freight Services, to our national network. The new branches provide expanded coverage and support to our national freight network in the upper Midwest from offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota.
A Top 10? These underdogs?
In July, Sunset makes its first appearance in the Top 10 3PL Providers list by Inbound Logistics, a national who’s who list of logistics companies. Sunset earned the #10 spot, and continues to climb. If you’re wondering if we popped some bottles of Dom to celebrate in the office, you’re right!
Celebrating 30 years!
2019 is Sunset’s 30th anniversary! Things are getting exciting after hitting a company revenue record of $159 million in 2018, and 130+ team members are embracing a renewed cultural values system called The Sunset Way
Lindsey Graves is making waves.
We love a good rhyme. In March, Lindsey Graves is named a finalist of the Women in Trucking’s Distinguished Women in Logistics Award, joining four bright women leaders from ArcBest, Schneider, Hassett Express, and Trinity Logistics.
Sunset goes cross-border!
In September, Sunset adds its 7th branch office in Laredo, TX, bringing full US/MX cross-border logistics and border warehouse solutions to our customers, with Jose Minarro at the helm.
A new home for a growing market leader.
In January, Sunset moves into new headquarters at 10877 Watson Road, keeping in the tradition of residing in our home city of Sunset Hills, Missouri. At 45,000 square feet, we have room to grow on three floors in a completely renovated building. We’re home!
A Top 5 3PL!
In July, for the third year in a row, Sunset makes the Inbound Logistics Top 10 3PL Provider award, coming in at #5 among our biggest competitors. We climbed from #8 in 2019.
Closing the books on a record year.
In December, Sunset ends 2020 with record revenue at $187M and 160+ Sunsetters.
The leadership team promotes three to C-suite, including chief executive officer Lindsey Graves, chief operating officer Mick McGrory, chief commercial officer Tracy Meetre who join chief financial officer Mark Cammarata.
In April, Jose Minarro is at it again, opening Sunset’s third cross-border office in Queretaro, Mexico. This operation includes an airport Customs office and sales office in central Queretaro.
On the road again.
In November, the Nashville office moves down the road to a larger location and room for 40 Sunsetters. As our first organic office, seeing this growth makes us want to roll one up with Willie and celebrate (where legal)!
We’re watching you, Ginny!
In March, Ginny Polach named Top Woman to Watch by Women in Trucking. Ginny joins 84 other distinguished women in this year’s class and is included in the 19% of winners in the Human Resources field.
Moving Madness begins.
In June, Grand Haven, MI, Green Bay, WI, and St. Paul, MN offices all take a cue from Nashville and relocate to bigger office spaces. All three, within three months. We’re not tired, you’re tired.
The three offices are prepared for growth; combined they make room at the table for 75 more Sunsetters to come aboard.
Five in five!
Sunset claims the #5 spot on Inbound Logistics Top 10 3PL Provider list in our fifth appearance on the list.
Queretaro wants in on Moving Madness 2022.
Our cross-border operations are growing faster than someone driving on a Texas highway. Pretty darn fast. The new location in north Queretaro is home to seven Sunsetters with room for 17 more.