History

What is the significance of Lantau Island? At Expeditors, we know Lantau Island as the birthplace of an idea envisioned by Peter Rose and James Wang in July of 1981. After several years in the industry, they dreamed of creating a global logistics organization that offered integrated services, best in class customer service and a focus on its people. Sketched out on a napkin in a bar, this idea came to fruition that same year when Peter and James, along with Glenn Alger, joined Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., a single office forwarder located in Seattle, Washington.

Expeditors' model was to combine transportation services and customs brokerage. With an initial focus on U.S. inbound freight from Asia, Expeditors quickly became one of the largest U.S.-based air freight forwarders of goods from the Far East. By staying true to our core values, Expeditors has grown organically from one to over 250 offices across the globe and employs more than 13,000 industry professionals.

Key Milestones

  • 1979

    1 location

    Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. is registered as a single office ocean forwarder in Seattle, Washington.

  • 1981

    6 locations

    Peter Rose, James Wang and Glenn Alger join Expeditors with an initial focus that is new to the industry - a one stop shop for transportation and customs brokerage. We quickly become one of the largest U.S.-based air freight forwarders of goods from the Far East.

  • 1984

    12 locations - 161 employees

    Expeditors becomes a public corporation with stock traded on NASDAQ (symbol: EXPD). During our first year as a public company, we report more than $50 million in gross revenues and $2.1 million in net earnings.

  • 1985

    13 locations

    We expand into the ocean business with the acquisition of Pac Bridge, a major non-vessel ocean common carrier (NVOCC).

  • 1988

    24 locations

    Peter J. Rose, one of our founders, assumes the title of President and CEO.

  • 1990

    32 locations - 900 employees

    We continue our selective global expansion when Brussels becomes our first office in continental Europe. Our motto, "You'd be surprised how far we'll go for you." is introduced to reinforce our commitment to customer service.

  • 1993

    56 locations

    Beijing grants Expeditors a rare class "A" license and we expand into China. We establish Expeditors' Cargo Management Systems (e.cms), an ocean consolidation program with an automated electronic data interface.

  • 1995

    96 locations - 2,400 employees

    Expeditors launches a Cargo Insurance division. This is the first year with more than $500 million in gross revenues. We continue our global expansion by entering the Central and South American markets. "Our business is based entirely on service and understanding our customers." - CEO Peter Rose

  • 1996

    114 locations - 3,250 employees

    We name a Director of Quality and formalize our global pursuit of ISO 9002 certification.

  • 1998

    149 locations - 5,215 employees

    Gross revenues top $1 billion for the first time, and we move into our new global headquarters located in downtown Seattle, Washington.

  • 1999

    163 locations - 6,480 employees

    We celebrate our 20th year in grand style, continuing our reputation as a full service global logistics provider.

  • 2000

    177 locations - 7,486 employees

    Expeditors is given the "Best Companies to Work For" award by Washington CEO Magazine.

  • 2002

    195 locations

    Our first year with more than $2 billion in gross revenues ($2,296,903,000), more than $100 million in net earnings ($112,529,000). We are named to the NASDAQ 100.

  • 2004

    211 locations - 9,454 employees

    A number of milestones mark our 25th year: it's the first year with more than $3 billion in gross revenues ($3,317,499,000); the number of employees tops 9,000; and net earnings reach $156,126,000.

  • 2005

    226 locations

    Expeditors is noted by Forbes as the Best Managed Transportation Company. The Wall Street Journal lists Expeditors as #1 in their shareholder scorecard for Delivery Services, above both UPS and FedEx.

  • 2006

    233 locations - 11,542 employees

    Entering the Fortune 500 list for the first time with $4.6 billion in revenue, Expeditors also stands out as Fortune's #1 Most Admired Company in our industry.

  • 2009

    250 locations

    This year marks the opening of our Disaster Recovery Center in Spokane, Washington, where all global backup IT requirements are facilitated. A sustainable, green office is built in Frankfurt for our German Regional Headquarters.

  • 2010

    251 locations - 12,800 employees

    2010 is considered our best year ever as we approach six billion dollars in revenue. The main reason for such a successful year is predicated on one large factor: our no layoff policy. Protecting our greatest assets proves invaluable, as those same people are the ones delivering world class customer service day after day. Without them, our success is not possible.