Our family’s legacy of transporting industrial chemicals stretches back almost a century. Over those years, we’ve started multiple family businesses with the current generation of family members continuing to build on the ethos of service and innovation.
As with many success stories, the word “no” led a bright entrepreneur to find a different path. In 1939, after receiving multiple rejection letters from potential employers, Donald P. Moran started West Penn Chemicals in Altoona, PA. At that time, there were very few chemical companies specializing in LTL (less-than-truckload) movements of chemicals. This business model was unique and Western Pennsylvania was an untapped territory, especially when it came to servicing LTL chemical customers.
The first company motto originated from the idea of excelling in customer service to all: “Creed for Service, Bridge to Growth.” Suffolk Sales and Service still proudly operates under the principles of that same motto today.
The December 1955 issue of Chemical Week featured the growth and success of Western Penn. The story reported that the company had 34 trucks in their fleet, expanded into seven states, employed 65 people, including eight salesmen, had relationships with multiple suppliers, including Olin, Columbia-Southern, DuPont, and Westvaco, and reached $2.5 million in volume.
In 1961, Western Penn Chemicals was sold to McKesson and Robins, but not before the second generation of family members had been trained in the chemical business and sales.
In 1979, four chemical companies – Manley Regan, Mid State, Suffolk Chemical Company, and Chemply – combined to form United Chemicals. This merger leveraged their strength in buying power.
By 1985, United Chemicals was ranked as the 12th largest chemical distributor in the United States.
In 1988, Ellis and Everard, a British company, purchased United Chemicals. At the time, it was the largest chemical acquisition in their history.
In 1989, Kenneth J. Moran, Donald’s son, started Suffolk Sales and Service Corporation in Suffolk, VA. Under his leadership, Suffolk Sales and Service Corporation grew as Ken leveraged his knowledge, expertise, and relationships in the chemical industry.
Today, multiple family members have joined Ken and with hard work and perseverance, they have grown the business throughout the Eastern United States and expanded service into the Midwest.