Meet Our Founders
At its very core, A.N.Webber, Inc. is, and always has been, a trucking company. Though services have been expanded over the years, moving freight is the "driving" force of the business. Established in an old wooden garage in the town of Chebanse Illinois, 70 miles south of Chicago, the Webber family, which now includes four generations, have always been truckers. One could say, "It's in our blood."
All the way back in 1947, Albert N. Webber Sr., (Neal) bought a 1941 KB7 International to haul stone from a quarry outside of Kankakee Illinois to various road and bridge projects. Previously employed as a driver for other companies, including his brother (whose company dates back to the 1930's), Neal Sr. was now driving his own truck for the first time, not realizing it would be the birth of the company that survives all these many years later. Webber continued to haul stone for over twenty-five years.
A. Neal Webber Jr. joined the company as a driver upon his release from the U.S. Army in 1958. He hauled construction materials for his father's company in the warmer months and tankers when it became too cold for stone hauling. Construction on Interstate 57 began in 1961, requiring the need for flatbeds to transport rebar from a local steel mill throughout the entire length of Illinois. The company moved across town into a Sinclair gas station in 1967, peddling gas, oil, tires, and trucking services. Neal Jr. left driving in 1968 to help run the growing trucking company when they began transporting water heaters in dry vans. In 1970 Neal Jr. bought his first truck to add to the fleet, a 1965 B Model GMC.
By 1975, Neal Sr. announced his retirement, selling his interest in the business to son Neal Jr., and wife Dee. That same year, their son, Alan, graduated from high school and went straight to work in the family business. During a blizzard in 1979, the company moved headquarters again, this time to a larger location ten miles north in Kankakee IL.
In 2005 Alan launched the company's logistics business, A.N. Webber Logistics, Inc. Today, the combination of company equipment, including dry vans, drop frame vans, containers, flatbeds, and tankers, along with the services of warehousing and brokerage, truly gives A.N.Webber, Inc. and their sister companies the capability to provide total logistics services to its many customers.
In 1981 the first satellite terminal was opened in yet another gas station, this time in Bethune South Carolina, 50 miles northeast of Columbia. Originally established as a private fleet for one customer, the fleet size grew quickly, as well as the development of other business opportunities. A new terminal was built 5 miles north on the outskirts of McBee SC in 1989, which included Webber's first warehousing venture. This operation lasted until 1997 when it was sold and Webber down-sized, moving to the current location in "downtown" McBee. Today it serves as a small satellite terminal.
The third terminal operation was established in El Paso Texas in 1987 in a leased warehouse. Once again set up as a private fleet for one customer manufacturing products in Mexico, the company quickly expanded into the transportation of other products, as well as establishing a network of freight between the three terminals. A new facility was built on the east side of El Paso in 1996. The new terminal is located one mile north of the Zaragosa Bridge, the main route connecting El Paso with Mexico. The terminal is still in use today and is one of Webber's largest.
In 1990, Alan N. Webber became president of A.N.Webber, Inc. That same year Neal Jr. made yet another purchase on the south side of Kankakee. Coincidentally, the original water heater factory which launched Webber's business into the dry van transportation. The million square foot facility, aptly named South-Tec Development Corp. provides office space, light industrial manufacturing, and public warehousing to various Fortune 500 companies. A.N. Webber, Inc. moved their corporate headquarters into South-Tec in 1997, where it remains an anchor tenant today.
The Tennessee terminal, another small satellite operation, opened in 2003, and is located northwest of Nashville in Pleasant View, just off Interstate 24. In 2015, Buddy Kelley remodeled the offices, both outside and inside. A back porch/deck with ceiling fans, rocking chairs, and a grill was added first for a place for drivers to congregate and relax. He also cleared the grounds for additional trailer parking and a separate driver car parking area. A shed was purchased to store DEF and other fluids for the trucks.