85 Years of Excellence: A New Penn Retrospective

New Penn Pulse

This June marks the 85th anniversary of New Penn! As we inch closer to a century of service excellence, we at New Penn thought it would only make sense to reflect back on the long and winding road that brought us here. And what better place to start than at the beginning…

New Penn began back in 1931 as the brainchild of Henry Arnold and Cloyd Early. Of course back then it was called New Pennsylvania Fast Motor Express and it was born to provide next-day service between Lebanon, Penn. and New York City.

With business booming in Pennsylvania, and demand piling up in the Big Apple, Arnold and Erdley envisioned a new type of service–next day delivery between Lebanon, PA and New York City. Roads were rough. Trucks were very different to handle back then as well, but the men were confident in the concept and their capabilities, so the duo launched New Pennsylvania Fast Motor Express.

Despite the unforgiving economy of the Great Depression, New Pennsylvania Fast Motor Express thrived in its infancy. In fact, on July 1, 1937–just six years and one month after its creation–New Penn relocated to a new, larger main office and terminal situated at 18 East Weidman Street in Lebanon, Penn.

By July, 1937, we had also expanded our fleet to include 22 tractors and trucks and 30 trailers!

So what was life like back then for a New Penn driver?

Well, a dollar went a lot further. A gallon of gas cost just 10 cents, and the average cost of a brand-new car was just $760!

On the job, New Penn drivers hauled everything from rayon to macaroni (lots and lots of macaroni), and serviced points throughout Pennsylvania and New York City.

What was the talk around the water cooler?

Well, Amelia Earhart’s disappearance for one thing, and the Hindenburg disaster and Ronald Reagan’s first feature film, “Love is on the Air” were probably among the topics.

People were starting to get back to work as well–unemployment had fallen 6.7% from the previous year, although 14.3% of the workforce was still unemployed.

From our very beginnings, New Penn has weathered economic storms and succeeded in the face of adversity.

85 years later, we continue to grow and deliver our customers the very best in next-day LTL service. New Penn currently employs more than 2,000 people and operates a fleet of over 850 trucks and 1,700 trailers. Our network of 24 service centers spans the Northeastern United States, Quebec, Canada and Puerto Rico. Still, despite our increased size and scope, New Penn has never lost its quality first, customer-first mentality. We can gain inspiration and knowledge from reflecting back on our rich history, and gain perspective on our future.

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