Team Foreway Delivers Trucking Service Value
Foreway Transportation is a family-owned business in operation for nearly four decades. Our CEO best sums it up…
"Foreway has been built through the school of hard knocks, always facing challenges head-on. This history builds more than a monument. It helps our employees understand how everyone’s continued hard work and dedication builds our future."
According to our founder…
“Foreway has weathered a lot of storms over the years. I believe we are successful because I have always had very committed employees and when it got real tough I knew God watched out for me and my employees.” --Roger Ensing
After driving truck to provide a higher income for his growing family, Roger Ensing purchased his first Ford tilt cab tractor in 1957. He leased to American Transit hauling truckload freight, then Meuwsen hauling grain and produce, and finally in 1963 hauling steel for Michigan Express.
In 1968, Roger added a second truck and hired another driver. By 1971, Roger quit driving full time so he could manage his 5 truck fleet. In 1973 when Roger had 16 tractors, he incorporated as Ensing Trucking. He ran the business out of Allendale Michigan for fifteen years.
The fuel shortage in 1974, affected a lot of business and Roger was advised to file bankruptcy. Against all advice, he mortgaged his house, paid off the business debts and replaced some of the older equipment.
By 1976, the business was again showing a profit and Roger with a new partner, Tom Yost, created Foreway Transportation Inc., a non-asset based carrier.
As the two companies grew, Roger’s two oldest children joined the businesses. In 1977, Rick started as a mechanic for Ensing Trucking. Then Pam joined the company in 1980 as the accounting clerk and receptionist. By 1982, Rick and Pam were running Ensing Trucking while Roger concentrated on growing Foreway.
In 1984, Roger bought out his partner and merged Ensing Trucking and Foreway. At the same time he gave both Rick and Pam the opportunity to purchase stock in the company.
With the companies merged both businesses were moved to Coopersville in 1988. Not long after a newly constructed shop was built, it burned down, and had to be rebuilt. During this same period Roger’s two younger sons started at Foreway; Randy as a mechanic and Steve as a truck driver. They also choose to purchase company stock.
Roger’s heart by-pass surgery in 1990 changed the management structure of the company. Pam was named CEO, as Roger took a less stressful role in the company. Between 1980 and 1991, the company had grown from a regional carrier with 25 tractors to a national carrier with more than 150 tractors.
In 1998 Foreway Management Services, Inc. (FMS) was created to provide distinct logistics services solutions. Creating the logistics division was the healthiest decision for the business. From 1991 to 2008 that business grew to $44 million in annual sales.
To quote the August 2000 edition of the Grand Rapids Magazine, our CEO “is as adept at driving an 18-wheeler as she is at steering her company into the future”. Pam has also been nominated four years for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She has helped us to evolve from a trucking company offering cartage into a transportation company providing the most critical services in logistics.
Over time, there have been changes within the company. Rick now owns his own business installing fall protection on commercial buildings and is blessed to be able to work with his oldest son Matthew and his brother Steve. Pam has been the CEO/President of Foreway for the past 25 years and Randy is Foreway’s Vice President. Roger enjoys fixing up cars for resale in his retirement. Pam and Randy are now the sole owners of Foreway.
Pam and Randy treasure our rich history and continue the business ethics their father taught them, but our future and its challenges is our motivation. Their management style allows the team to take and own key responsibilities and is why we hire the best people. Their wish is that each employee treats Foreway as if it were their own business. All employees are rewarded a share of the profits they create.
There is no limit as to what tomorrow may bring. The men and women in the driver’s seats, dispatch and on the docks are the wheels that keep us in motion. We must concentrate on constantly improving our performance to provide the customer with added value.