In 1948, a group of 33 entrepreneurs in transfer and storage formed an alliance to better serve customers and enable one another's success. Their vision: to build a cooperative that would operate efficiently from coast to coast. They themselves would be the owners, and they adopted the golden rule as their business philosophy. They took the name "Atlas Van Lines" and established headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
Today, Atlas Van Lines is a subsidiary of Atlas World Group, a family of companies headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. Atlas serves markets for global relocation, benefits, recruiting, logistics and travel, through a network of more than 500 Atlas agents in the United States and Canada, and service partners operating in 140 countries around the world. A commitment to integrity, quality and solutions still guides the company, just as Atlas agent-owners still set the policies that further service excellence.
Ever since a mythical titan was credited with shouldering the heavens, the name "Atlas" has stood for a rare strength. Today, the name "Atlas" identifies a global company distinguished by strengths in transportation and a dedication to helping people go new places.
Select a decade from the dropdown list below to view timeline entries.
1949 — The company reports $1 million in revenue.
1948 — A group of 33 entrepreneurs in transfer and storage incorporates as Atlas Van-Lines with operating authority for 37 states and the District of Columbia. The company establishes its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois and employs 10 people.
1947 — Members of the Independent Movers' and Warehousemen's Association (IMWA) meet at the resort town of French Lick, Indiana. They discuss the idea of forming a cooperative for the interstate transportation of household goods from coast to coast. Their organization will be modeled on ideals of equality, mutual respect, open communication and democratic control.
1959 — The company breaks ground on a new headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. Atlas becomes first moving and storage firm to adopt NCR and IBM data processing systems, bringing breakthrough service advances to agents and their customers.
1958 — Atlas Van-Lines, Inc. signs an agreement with Atlas Van Service to become truly a "coast-to-coast" carrier.
1957 — Robust growth necessitates relocation to larger offices on South Ashland Avenue. Revenue approaches $5 million.
1954 — The Department of Commerce, U.S. Patent Office, registers the company's trade name as "Atlas Van-Lines, Inc." The Atlas Amplifier magazine begins regular publication, covering "things every Atlas agent should know."
1950 — Atlas Van-Lines outgrows its offices on 67th Street and relocates to a larger space on South Western Avenue, where it employs 45 people.
1969 — Newscaster Lowell Thomas airs nationally under Atlas sponsorship.
1968 — Atlas celebrates its twentieth anniversary. The Traffic Managers' Forum On Moving conference brings Atlas representatives and customers together for candid discussions on relocation issues.
1967 — Atlas begins sponsorship of unlimited hydroplane racing to increase its name recognition.
1966 — Atlas offers "piggyback" rail shipping: forty-foot trailers are loaded onto rail cars and transported to selected railheads, then unloaded and driven to their destinations. International Air Transport Association grants approval for overseas air shipments.
1964 — National advertising begins in prominent home, business, and trade magazines.
1963 — Atlas Van-Lines (Canada) Ltd. commences operations from offices in Toronto.
1962 — Atlas recruits 63 new agents and existing agents open 16 new branch offices. Revenues exceed $10 million.
1961 — The company expands operations with service to South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming via Colorado.
1960 — New world headquarters is dedicated at 1212 St. George Road in Evansville. Five vans transport 106,000 pounds to complete a textbook relocation in 56 hours.
1979 — A consortium of five major oil companies signs an exclusive contract with Atlas International, the largest such household goods contract in the history of the industry.
1975 — Ronald Reagan addresses more than 600 guests at the 8th Forum on Moving, where his remarks foreshadow the deregulation that will come to the industry during the first term of his Presidency.
1974 — Revenues reach $48,480,000.
1973 — The Atlas O. H. Frisbie Training Center for van operators opens on the Evansville campus. Atlas Van Lines (Canada) Ltd. occupies a new headquarters in Oakville, Ontario.
1971 — The Traffic Managers' Forum On Moving is renamed Forum on Moving. Bill Muncey pilots the Atlas Van Lines hydroplane to win the President's Cup and Kentucky Governor's Cup. Over the next ten years Muncey would garner 37 victories, including 4 APBA Gold Cups and 4 URC National Championships.
1970 — With 465 agents and 178 corporate employees, Atlas ranks seventh in size among domestic household goods carriers. The company drops the hyphen from its name and introduces a bold "Flying A" logo. International Sea Van, Inc. becomes Atlas Van Lines International Corp.
1988 — Atlas returns to agent ownership. The company holds its first ROAD Day celebration to honor Atlas van operators. Revenues exceed $242 million.
1985 — Atlas marks its 25th anniversary in Evansville. The company now employs 412 people, maintains a network of 475 agents throughout the U.S. and Canada, and generates more than $140 million in revenues.
1984 — Atlas becomes the target of a hostile takeover and board members court a friendly buyer to thwart the attempt.
1982 — Chip Hanauer pilots the Atlas hydroplane in a Cinderella season that includes five major wins, four world-record qualifying laps, and a clean sweep of the sport's top events.
1981 — Legendary hydroplane driver Bill Muncey perishes in an accident while racing in Acapulco, Mexico.
1980 — Atlas becomes a publicly held corporation with agents retaining a controlling interest. Deregulation comes to the trucking industry with the passage of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 and the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980.
1999 — Atlas breaks ground on a new headquarters at its corporate campus in Evansville. Atlas Van Lines is recognized by the Indiana Private Industry Council as "Employer of the Year." Elizabeth Dole addresses the 32nd annual Atlas Forum on Moving in Chicago.
1998 — Atlas Specialized Products Division launches an immediate response service and satellite tracking to ensure efficient, worry-free service for transportation of electronics equipment. Over 1100 Atlas agency owners and staff, families, and special guests gather at the Hilton Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary. Atlas enters its second half-century of service as the fourth-largest van line in the U.S. and third in the household goods market.
1997 — Atlas announces the two largest conversions in the history of the van line industry with the joining of Atlantic Relocation Systems (more than 600 vehicles and nearly 700 employees) and Bekins Northwest (more than 250 vehicles and operations in five states).
1996 — Atlas establishes the Milton M. Hill Quality Award to recognize agents who meet or exceed the highest standards for service excellence. Four Atlas agents earn the distinction and are presented the award at the company's convention the following year. The company launches a public Web site, the first by a major van line.
1994 — Atlas World Group, Inc. is established as the holding company for Atlas Van Lines, Inc. and seven subsidiaries.
1993 — Revenues exceed $283 million and net income rises 153 percent; the company opposes industry-proposed rate increases.
1990 — Atlas celebrates its 30th anniversary in Evansville; the mayor proclaims March 21 as "Atlas Van Lines Day." Atlas Specialized Products Division relocates the computerized records of Amoco Corporation from Chicago to an expanded data center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, using 14 climate-controlled vans. Ardene Carroll becomes the first Atlas van operator to complete two million accident-free miles.
2009 — Atlas is among the first in the industry to receive the ProMover(SM) designation, a quality credential of the American Moving and Storage Association. The company honors its more than 3000 professional van operators across the U.S. and Canada in the 22nd annual ROAD Day celebration. Atlas acquires principal interest in Smart Move, the moving and storage industry's most flexible container service. Atlas World Group places 192 in the InformationWeek 500 list of firms that are the most innovative users of business technology. Atlas Canada is the longest-serving national sponsor of the MS Society of Canada annual Bike Tours. Atlas International enters an exclusive licensing agreement in the UK with Fox Group Ltd. Glen Dunkerson becomes the Chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group.
2008 — Atlas Van Lines marks 60 years of success in the moving and storage industry. Building on a culture of service, the company attains registration for its quality management systems according to the ISO 9001:2000 standard. To enhance the speed and accuracy of in-home estimating, Atlas introduces an advanced, proprietary system. Jim Stamm becomes Chairman of Atlas World Group, and Jack Griffin is named President and COO of Atlas International. Ben Stein delivers the principal address at the Atlas Forum on Moving in Chicago. Atlas subsidiary Titan Global Distribution provides logistics services for the Lumiere Casino and adjoining Four Seasons Hotel, anchors for the $500 million Lumiere Place entertainment and hospitality complex.
2007 — Atlas Van Lines awards 52 agents with the Milton M. Hill Quality Award. Pat Head Summit, head coach with the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, delivers the principal address at the 40th Atlas Forum on Moving in Chicago. Atlas introduces Accel, a premium expedited delivery option, to 42 metro areas; it soon expands to 58 markets. Employees raise more than $83,000 for United Way of Southwestern Indiana. Chairman Mike Shaffer retires after a career with Atlas spanning five decades. The Surface Transportation Board ends joint ratemaking for carriers of household goods and Atlas develops a proprietary tariff, ATVL 1000, to take effect January 1, 2008.
2006 — Atlas World Group reports record revenue of $949 million for 2005. Techpoint recognizes Atlas World Group as a Mira Awards finalist for outstanding contributions to technology by Indiana-based companies. Atlas World Group names Jim Stamm to CEO, and Atlas Van Lines promotes Glen Dunkerson to president and COO. For the second consecutive year, Atlas Van Lines earns the Family Friendly Health and Benefits Award at the Diversity and Family Friendly Conference. Subsidiary BDS Worldwide becomes Titan Global Distribution.
2005 — The Atlas network rallies to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Subsidiary Red Ball International is the first in the industry to adopt RFID technology. Through a new college scholarship program, Atlas awards $12,000 to employee families. Now the second-largest carrier of household goods in the industry, Atlas earns its eighth consecutive Quest for Quality Award for excellence in on-time performance, value, information technology, customer service, and equipment and operations.
2004 — Atlas underwrites the construction of its second Habitat house and Atlas employees provide the labor to build it. BDS Worldwide, a leading third-party logistics provider, joins the Atlas family of companies. Atlas launches a redesigned public web site. Atlas Specialized Transportation Group (STG) commits to the installation of satellite tracking for all trailers in its corporate fleet. The company ends the year with record income of more than $860 million.
2003 — Atlas introduces "Sniffer," a golden labrador retriever puppy, in print materials promoting Atlas World Group companies. The company welcomes 57 agency sales people into its President's Club of top producers. Newly formed Atlas subsidiary Avail Resource Management provides move management solutions that help Atlas clients better manage their transportation resources and improve business performance.
2002 — Atlas introduces a broadened brand identity and modified logo to communicate long-held values of integrity, quality and solutions and core competencies in global relocation, benefits, recruiting, logistics and travel. Atlas Van Lines is rated "Best Value" among major carriers according to data compiled by the Department of Defense. Thirty-two Atlas agents earn the Milton M. Hill Quality Award.
2001 — Atlas hosts its first national sales symposium in Evansville and introduces a proprietary dispatch planning tool — PowerSuite — the industry's most advanced operating system. For the fourth consecutive year, Atlas earns top honors in the Quest for Quality Awards sponsored by Logistics Management Magazine.
2000 — "Relax, Let Atlas take You Home," a 30-second television commercial for Atlas Van Lines, earns top honors for 3-D animation in the Omni Intermedia Awards. Atlas acquires Cornerstone Relocation Group, a premier provider of complete relocation solutions for families of corporate clients. A new 65,000 sq. ft. headquarters welcomes Atlas employees.
2011 — All Atlas Van Lines agents become members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and receive the ProMover certification, the association's public assurance of quality and ethical business practices. Trippel Survey and Research, LLC, cites Atlas Van Lines as the top mover of household goods according to a comprehensive survey of employees who move. For the second year in a row, the company transports shoes to support the work of Soles4Souls, an international charity. Atlas Van Lines receives the Fleet Safety Initiative Award from AMSA for systems to support compliance with government safety regulations. Atlas introduces moveAtlas™, a free, easy-to-use application for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. For the second consecutive year, Atlas leads its local community as a Pacesetter company for the annual United Way campaign. Atlas premieres BRAVO, a weeklong celebration to honor the company’s van operators.
2010 — A partnership with AAA provides discounts on Atlas moving services to AAA members via the Show Your Card & Save® program. For the second straight year, InformationWeek ranks Atlas among the country's 500 most innovative users of technology. Atlas celebrates 50 years of corporate citizenship in Evansville, Indiana, home of Atlas headquarters. The company transports thousands of pairs of shoes to support the work of Soles4Souls, an international charity. Atlas conducts "50 Ways to Help Your Neighbor" to assist the United Way in providing for the basic needs of families. Atlas Canada introduces "No Stranger in Your Home" and leads the provinces as the first carrier to require background checks on employees. The Atlas SmartVault® becomes the first plastic container to pass the U.S. military's performance tests for containerized shipments.