Aerial image of Keller Logistics Group complex in Defiance, Ohio

Keller Logistics Group History

 

Since starting out in 1978 as a small trucking company, Thomas E. Keller Trucking has grown and evolved into Keller Logistics Group which embodies every aspect of the logistics industry. With its’ affiliate companies, Keller Trucking, Keller Warehousing & Distribution, Keller Freight Solutions, Keller Packaging, and Hydrofresh HPP, Keller Logistics Group has the knowhow to get the job done.

Tom Keller at age 16 standing on top of a truck in front of the trailer holding a Mellon before taking it to market

1950s

At the age of 16, Keller Trucking founder, Tom Keller was transporting loads of melons grown on his family farm in Knox County, Indiana to neighboring cities and eventually across state lines into Michigan and as far south as Georgia.

Four 1980s style Keller Trucking Semi Tractors lined up

Late 1970s

Tom’s interest in the trucking industry led to purchasing additional trucks and eventually moonlighting from a makeshift office at his kitchen table at home coordinating freight, marking the early beginnings of Keller Trucking.

Original logo for Thomas E Keller Trucking when incorporating in 1978

1978

Keller Trucking Incorporates, acquiring permanent operating authority. 

1980 Keller Trucking semi truck and two side curtain trailers

1980

The company moved to a location on Jackson Street in Defiance with an office and small terminal that held 10 trucks and trailers, with an apartment nearby for drivers to sleep and clean up between routes. Keller Trucking became a leading innovator as one of the first trucking companies to use curtain side trucks, and with the creation of double trailers.

Aerial image of the Thomas E Keller building from 1985 on Elliott Road in Defiance Ohio

1985

Due to growing volume, a 7,000 square foot terminal, small office, two maintenance bays and a wash bay were constructed where the Keller complex remains today on Elliott Road in Defiance, Ohio. 

Tom Keller with his nephew Bryan Keller at the company holiday party in the early 1990s

Early 1990s

Tom began succession planning by grooming nephew, Bryan Keller, to eventually take over the family business. Together, Tom & Bryan made the decision to branch out into the warehousing business. Over the next six years, they built four warehouses

Bryan Keller sitting at his new desk as CEO in 2000

2000

Bryan Keller is named CEO of Thomas E. Keller Trucking, following in his uncle’s footsteps and continuing the family business.

Keller Logistics Group Logo circle around the letter K with Keller Logistics Group around the top of the circle in Blue

2002

Keller Logistics Group was created to house all the affiliate companies, including Thomas E. Keller Trucking and Keller Warehousing and Distribution, eventually also adding Keller Freight Solutions, and Keller Packaging.

Operation KAVIC Keller Assists Veterans In Crisis logo

2015

Operation KAVIC (Keller Assists Veterans In Crisis), our proprietary philanthropy is established to help local veterans and their families in financial hardship with expenses not covered by veteran’s benefits. To date, the non-profit has raised over $100,000 to help local veterans in need.

The cover of the book The Life and Legacy of Thomas E Keller

2017

Keller Trucking founder, Tom Keller releases his memoir, The Life and Legacy of Thomas E. Keller.

Growing up in rural Indiana on a melon farm in the 1930s, Tom Keller’s humble beginnings taught him the value of family, hard work, and building a legacy. As the first one in his family to attend college, Tom went on to make a name for himself as a leading salesman selling farm equipment throughout the Midwest.

Tom overcame a lifetime of hardships and heartbreaks, but it didn’t stop him from building a trucking company that would one day become one of the biggest employers in Defiance, Ohio. Through perserverance, taking risks, and never giving up, Tom built a business that will carry on for generations to come.

To purchase a copy of The Life and Legacy of Thomas E. Keller visit our page on Lulu.com

2018

Keller Logistics Group announced a venture into food preservation technology with the addition of the affiliate Hydrofresh HPP.

 

Keller Trucking celebrates 40th anniversary, receives Proclamation from the Mayor of Defiance.