Randy Marten, CEO of Marten Transport, has played an active role in the immense growth of the trucking company his father founded in 1946, pushing the family business to become one of the top trucking companies in the United States. The small business that Roger Marten, Randy’s father, started to deliver milk in and around the family home in the tiny village of Modena, Wisconsin, has transformed into an international success.
“Dad started with a $400 loan from my grandfather,” Marten said, reflecting on the company’s humble beginnings. When Roger died in 1993, Marten Transport was making $112M annually while $25.3M in debt.
Randy continued the growth and success of the family business by focusing on the market for delivery of time- and temperature-sensitive cargo, expanding from food products to pharmaceuticals, chemicals and certain hazardous materials. Marten Transport’s major customers include Walmart, Kraft, Nestle, Coca-Cola and General Mills.
At the end of 2013, 20 years after Randy had taken over, Marten Transport reported $660M in revenue and zero debt.
Unfortunately, Marten Transport is in the minority with its successful succession story. Although somewhere between 80% and 90% of American businesses are currently owned and operated by families, a recent article in Harvard Business Review found that nearly 70% of family owned businesses last just a single generation. As they point out, “the low survival rate has alarming consequences.”
At ReGENERATION Partners, we understand that change is inevitable. Passing a family business to the next generation is fraught with uncertainty, difficult decisions and stressful challenges. Let our team devise a succession plan for your family business to navigate the difficulties and succeed.