R & J Ohio Distribution was founded in 1984 by Robert and Judy Hill, who had an ambitious business plan but were on a shoestring budget. We began with shared offices, dock facilities, and trucks, but soon outgrew that arrangement and acquired a 12-door, 12,000 square-foot truck terminal in Northern Ohio. We then started using truck owner/operators and purchasing only the most-needed pieces of equipment, so we were able to form an association with a local intra/interstate carrier, whose equipment helped us expand our customer base.
In 1986, R & J Ohio Distribution had established a solid footing in the trucking industry, and the time seemed right to explore the merits of warehousing in the Akron area. After determining there was a need for storage, we decided to expand our company's services. This portion of our business also began quite modestly, with just one small warehouse customer. Our operation grew steadily and soon required more space. In 1987, we acquired a more substantial, 40,000 square-foot facility that would accommodate not only our current needs but also future growth.
After four years, our original carrier closed its doors, ending an excellent relationship that was instrumental to our early success. In December 1989, using the many contacts we had made in the trucking industry, we were able to form an association with another intra/interstate carrier: Wooster Motor Ways.
In 1993, R & J Ohio Distribution expanded once again. We leased an additional 20,000 square feet of space, bringing our total square footage for warehousing to 85,000 square feet.