History of Midwest Emery Transportation

This is a brief historical look at two companies that merged together to form Midwest Emery Transportation Company. It begins with Milton Ratner, who in 1940, incorporated Truck Transport Inc as a general transportation business in Indianapolis, Indiana. In October 1949, David Ratner, a brother, sold his interests in Midwest Transfer Company and Emery Transportation to his brother Milton Ratner and a brother-in-law Bernard A. Lipson.

The earliest History I have been able to find about Midwest Transfer Company are some addresses of late 1940’s terminals. Chicago, Illinois at 7000 South Pulaski Road; Cincinnati, Ohio at 800 Cooper Street; Indianapolis, Indiana at 2801 Massachusetts Avenue; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 1435 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A good glimpse of Midwest history comes from a newspaper article on April 20, 1952 in the Chicago Tribune On Page 57, “David Ratner’s old company, Midwest Transfer, now is owned and controlled principally by his brother, Milton D. Ratner, younger son of the late Harry Ratner. B.A. Lipson, a brother-in-law Of the Ratners, is secretary and treasurer. Midwest traces itself to a livery service started in Maywood by Harry Ratner, who later purchased some motor trucks to carry on his business. With headquarters at 7000 S. Pulaski Rd in Chicago, Midwest now has more than 400 complete units and is believed to be the largest carrier of roofing materials and paper products. In 1944 the ICC authorized purchase of Emery Transportation.”

A great summary of the business of Emery Transportation  came from a newspaper article in The Lancaster Eagle Gazette of Lancaster, Ohio On June 3, 1950. “ Emery Transportation Co. if Chicago hauls Anchor Hocking glass products. For the past 10 years Emery has carried thousands of tons of glassware, bottles and jars from Winchester, Indiana, Lancaster Ohio, and Connellsville, PA to retail outlets and distributors in central US. “

Emery had 20 locations and 900 employees. In 1959 Emery acquired Little Audrey’s Transportation Co. of Fremont, Nebraska. By this time Emery had 36 terminals, more than 700 reefer trailers and revenues of $17 million.


11 thoughts on “History of Midwest Emery Transportation

  1. I heard lots of stories about Midwest Emery from my dad who drove for them out of Indianapolis after being discharged from the Army in 1944. The stories of him being gone on runs from Indianapolis to New Jersey, a job that he loved and enjoyed even though it meant time away from the family. They say truck-driving is in the blood which explains why I spent 17 years on the road. Part of it I think comes from the stories and the camaraderie of the drivers watching out for each other as if they were brothers, a thing of the past.


  2. I worked for Midwest Emery from 1980 to 1985! First in accounts receivable in the bank building they owned and then in McCook Illinois at the terminal! Started as secretary to VP John Tracy and then worked in dispatch, then in the tank division and LTL.


    1. Did you meet and know members of the Ratner family….. Did you ever here the name of one of their owner operators Walt Lowery I think he had several trucks on their …..


  3. My father worked there for many years,,knew a lot of the drivers. Good people, The good ole days ,sure do miss them.


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