1905: Charles Henry Robinson, a former traveling salesman from St. Louis, incorporates his namesake company, which transported and distributed perishable fruits and vegetables by horse and buggy. His business partners in the company, which was located in Grand Forks, N.D., were brothers Fred Parks Nash and Willis King Nash.
1909: Charles Robinson dies, at 52.
1913: The Nash brothers buy out Robinson’s wife and gain full control of the company. C.H. Robinson becomes the produce procurement arm of Nash Finch, a leading regional wholesaler that owned and operated grocery stores.
1919: Nash Finch moves C.H. Robinson Co. headquarters to Minneapolis.
1940s: Federal regulators force the break-up of C.H. Robinson into separate entities. Employees retain ownership of C.H. Robinson Co., which sells produce to Nash Finch’s warehouses. Nash Finch retains ownership of the second company, C.H. Robinson Inc. The two companies consolidate in the mid-1960s with Nash Finch maintaining a 25 percent stake.
1980: Deregulation under the federal Motor Carrier Act allows the company to act as a freight contractor for any kind of product. This leads to a burst of growth and marks a significant new era in the company’s evolution.
1988: Enters the intermodal transport business — using two or more modes of transport (ship, train or truck) to move containers from Point A to Point B.
1989: Makes first international expansion by opening a logistics office in Monterrey, Mexico.
1990: Begins providing air cargo service.
1993: Establishes presence in Europe by buying stake in French motor carrier Transeco, which it later fully acquires.
1997: The company, which is 100 percent employee-owned, goes public as C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.
2003: President John Wiehoff, 40, named CEO in planned succession process.
2011: Hits annual revenue of $10 billion
2012: Launches proprietary IT logistics platform, Navisphere.
2013: Purchases Phoenix International for $635 million, its largest deal, which doubles international ocean freight capacity.
2015: Acquires Freightquote.com, a Missouri-based e-commerce freight broker, which expands market power for partial truckload shipments and brings more small-business clients.
2016: Reports earnings per share growth of 15 percent for second straight year.