The Short Lived History Of Acme Freight Lines, Inc.

DA92E228-C117-4F24-99A3-49C7208754DCIn Volune 1 Of Interstate Commerce Commission Reports Of Motor Carriers Cases, there is a printed decision concerning the Common Carrier application for a Florida-based company named Acme Freight Lines, Inc. Their application for an operating certificate was filed on February 10, 1936 and the ICC granted the certificate on December 14 of the same year. The assigned MC number was 10897. Route 1 was between Jacksonville, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia via US Highway 90 between Jacksonville and Lake City, Florida and US Highway 41 between Lake City and Atlanta, Route 2 was between Jacksonville and Atlanta via US Highway 1 between Jacksonville and Baxley, Georgia, US Highway 341 between Baxley and Perry, Georgia and US Highway 41 between Perry and Atlanta.

Acme’s originally ran routes between Jacksonville, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta terminal at that time was located at 504 Whitehall Street SW.

In May 1937, Acme asked the ICC to approve two purchases of other companies. The first was an application to acquire the operating rights and property of D.L. Carter, doing business as Carter Motor Lines. Carter operated within Georgia between Savannah and Macon via Lyons, McRae and Perry. There were some duplicated routes with Acme between McRae and Macon. Other Carter routes were between Lyons and Baxley, and between Reidsville and the State Prison Farm.By acquiring these routes Acme intends to rearrange its schedules and institute overnight service between Atlanta and Savannah, which would eliminate interchange at either McRae or Macon. Carter was the only operator between Savannah and McRae and due to the owners finiancial condition cvannot continue in business.

The other acquisition application for Acme was to purchase the operating rights of John Van Dyke and Otto Vogel, who did business as Independent Transfer Company. Independent operated between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, Georgia via Brunswick and also within a 50 mile radius of Brunswick, Georgia.The reason Acme wanted to acquire this company was that most of Acme traffic was southbound. Its trucks operated northbound from Jacksonville to Macon or Atlanta at less than capacity. By joining Independent routes into Acme it was expected to secure enough northbound traffic to operate with increased tonnage.This would balance the loads into a more profitable line. Both the Carter and Independent applications were approved by the ICC on July 5, 1938.

More acquisition requests before the ICC were approved. In 1941 Truck-State Motor Express was acquired taking Acme to Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana and more Alabama routes were acquired before the end of 1941 with the purchase of J D Campbell.

Net income for Acme through the years is shown here:

  • Year ended Feb. 29, 1936- $901
  • last 10 months of 1936-$1,825
  • First 5 months of 1937-loss Of $3,119
  • Full year 1936- loss of $2,668
  • 6 months of 1938- loss of $4,372
  • Full year 1938-$13,985
  • Full year 1939-$6,572
  • First 8 months of 1940-$11,586

Sometime after 1941 Acme Freight Lines began having financial problems, but I can find no news reports concerning any problems the company may have been having. I do have evidence through ICC reports that two other trucking companies were approved to take Acme routes. While Acme was in bankruptcy in 1945, K&L Transportation Of Waycross, Georgia and Benton Rapid Express got Acme routes, and a bankruptcy sales of office equipment was held at the Acme Atlanta terminal at 245 University Avenue SW.

 

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