J.B. Hunt Trucking | Fayetteville Hotels
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Founded in 1961, J.B. Hunt originally purchased rice hulls from farmers, ground and packaged them and then sold the product as ground cover to chicken farmers.
While not originally successful, Hunt persevered and by the late 1960’s owned one of the largest rice hull operations of it’s kind anywhere.
In 1969, a friend convinced him to buy out a trucking company comprised of five trucks and seven trailers. J.B. Hunt Trucking was born.
It wasn’t easy for Johnny Hunt. Years of losses and high costs due to the regulation in the trucking industry made him want to get out of the business many times. Luckily, he listed to Paul Bergant – a lawyer – who convinced him that deregulation was just around the corner and that Hunt was well-positioned to take advantage of the coming changes.
During this time, Hunt continued to expand by purchasing other trucking companies which included ICC licences. He also started lowering his costs by purchasing company trucks and hiring hourly drivers. He further reduced his costs by incentivizing drivers to conserve fuel.
In 1980, Bergant’s premonitions came true with the passing of the Motor Carrier Act. Because of the transformation Hunt had made within the company, J.B. Hunt was well suited for the change. While other trucking companies floundered, J.B. Hunt flourished. So much in fact that by 1983 J.B. Hunt became a public company. Hunt also sold off his rice hull business to Eli Lilly for a reported $2.4 million dollars.
Today, J.B. Hunt Transport Services is one of the largest transportation companies. They have revenues of over $3 billion per year and over 16,000 employees. The Market Cap for J.B. Hunt as of late 2014 sits at over $9 billion dollars.