Vernon purchased an egg trucking business serving Wellesley and Wilmot townships, carrying eggs to Toronto food giants, Loblaws and Dominion.
Vernon bought his first reefer – the start of the refrigerated fleet – in response to a business proposition to haul live and processed poultry.
Vernon was able to purchase an unrestricted PCV license which gave Erb Transport authorization to carry refrigerated goods throughout Ontario. The company was still based in Wellesley, with the office in the Erb’s family home. Viola Erb, Vernon’s wife, was office manager, bookkeeper, dispatcher, and receptionist. Mr. Erb serviced the trucks himself when he wasn’t driving them.
Erb added a number of important names to its customer base including in 1970: Burns Meats Ltd., Canada Packers Ltd., F.W. Fearman & Co. Ltd., J.M. Schneiders Inc.; in 1973/74: Rich Products of Canada; and in the 1980’s, Ready Bake Frozen Dough Inc.
It was at this time that Erb developed the strategy that makes it almost unbeatable today – LTL (less-than-truckload) shipments. The success of this decision, enabling Erb to gain a market niche, was dependent on opening refrigerated terminals in other cities.
Thunder Bay was the first terminal to open. Toronto was next and the rest followed quickly.
Erb acquired a limited PCV license to haul meats into the U.S.
Erb began its reputation for embracing leading-edge technology and installed its first Burroughs B90 computer. Then in 1986 an IBM System 38 and in 1996 an IBM AS/400.
The company purchased Laurier Transport Ltd.; an Ottawa based trucking firm and acquired its license to ship refrigerated goods into Quebec.
Erb and J.M. Schneider, Inc. agreed to use EDI (electronic data interchange) to change the way they did business with each other – to re-engineer various business processes, in order to address their specific corporate needs. Phase one was the electronic invoicing of freight bills for transportation services that Erb provided to JMS, while phase two would have JMS electronically transmit customer invoices to Erb’s loading docks for printing and updating. Erb not only became EDI-capable, but a leader in the use of EDI in the transportation industry.
Erb International Inc. purchased Cancom Mobile’s two-way satellite messaging and tracking system and became the first Canadian fleet to install Cancom’s new Enhanced Display Unit. Today, 100% of Erb International Inc. and Erb Transport Inc. fleets are satellite equipped.
In June 2005, The Erb Group took part in a HACCP audit and became only the second Canadian carrier to gain their HACCP Certification, which confirms Erb’s best practices in food safety and quality assurance.
In November 2008, Vernon Erb was awarded the Ontario Trucking Association’s highest honour: The Service To Industry Award, recognizing his lifetime contribution.
In January 2010, Erb expanded its network yet again with a terminal in Winnipeg to service Western Canada.
In October 2011, Erb developed a satellite operation and cold storage location in Quebec City to service eastern Quebec.
In February 2015, Erb opened a new, state of the art shop at the Baden Terminal.