Automated Logistics Systems started as Parker Motor Freight
Harry Parker started Parker Motor Freight (PMF) just before the Great Depression, in 1927 at just 20 years old. It was an inauspicious start, operating out of Boyne City, Michigan with one secondhand truck running freight in the middle of an economic downturn. However, the Parker family has always been beyond driven and the firm managed to grow all through the ’30s. In 1936 the Parkers moved their headquarters from Boyne City to Petoskey, closer to the center of their operation. In the late ’30s, the company opened terminals in Cadillac, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids.
A severe blow was dealt to the company in 1947 when its founder was killed in an auto accident. Harry’s death left Mrs. “Lucille” Parker in a tight spot. Give up or push forward in an industry led by men, during a time when women were beginning to truly fight for equality. Lucille not only took over the business, she grew it successfully for the next 20 years. She was one of the few women presidents of a trucking firm in the country and she gained a great deal of respect from her team and her peers as the business continued to grow and prosper under her leadership.
Harry and Lucille’s son John was the second generation of the Parker family to work for the company. He began while still in high school, working in almost all phases of the operation from dock worker, to billing clerk, to greasing trucks in the garage. Following graduation from the University of Notre Dame in 1960 and the death of his mother in 1967, John Parker took the helm as President of PMF.
The birth of Automated Logistics Systems
PMF successfully navigated deregulation in the 1980s and ’90s, developing a strong foothold on the LTL market in the Midwest. However, customer needs pushed us beyond LTL and John Parker expanded our capabilities to handle customer growth. In 1992, he transformed PMF into Automated Logistics Systems; a broader organization utilizing freight brokerage to expand capabilities, transportation nodes, and improve market share. 1994 brought the relocation of operations to Jackson, MI.
The third generation of Parkers are now active in Automated Logistics Systems and maintain their family’s commitment to the ALS team, commitment to the local economy, and the family commitment to be beyond driven in everything we do. The Parker family continues to support the logistics industry and look forward to many more years of service. The family legacy is continued by their youngest son, Joe Parker, who joined in 2001 and is currently the President of ALS.
In 2008 ALS opened operations in Laredo, TX handling transportation directly in and out of Mexico. The Laredo team created a strong presence on the border which we solidified in 2010 with the addition of full service facilities and warehousing in Laredo.
That same year, 2010, ALS enhanced its Jackson, MI presence within the Midwest, moving into their state of the art facility on Scheele Dr. The expansion has allowed ALS to attract smart people and expand market share while consolidating costs and operations. Through integrity, innovation, passion, accountability, and quality ALS has become a true end to end logistics partner for our customers.
The family is very proud of its history, but it looks beyond the past and is excited at what lies ahead. The people, processes and technologies we bring to the industry push our clients into more competitive positions. We are truly, Beyond Driven.