About Us

After incorporating in 1985, Tim Gatlin, Chairman & CEO, and his late father, Ed Gatlin led Empire Express to become the strong, respected carrier it is today. Tim continues to lead the company in steady growth and success.

Empire Express serves the 48 continental states, Mexico, and Canada, and handles cargo that requires time-sensitivity, safety-sensitivity, or both. Thirty-five percent of our loads are packaged chemicals or related products (agricultural chemicals and poisons, paint-related materials and styrene’s, polymers and other chemicals used by the chemical process industry). We also haul other products such as clothing and apparel, air cargo, home and office products, packaging and containers, paper products, retail goods, electronics, cotton and general commodities.

We are focused on providing excellent service to shipper-partners that demand safe, on-time service and who offer driver-friendly, no-touch freight.


When Ed Gatlin, founded Empire Express, Inc. in 1985, he started it from a smaller private fleet that had been rejected by a big multi-national corporation. At the time, Big Ed was simply trying to help the drivers in the small fleet, who had always been loyal to him. When the time came for a decision on what to do with the fleet, Big Ed remembered the hard work and respect the drivers had given him. He did not let them down. He started Empire Express with that group of dedicated drivers.


Tim GatlinOwner, Chairman & CEO
John PhillipsPresident of Empire Express & COO
Jackie BuckinghamPresident of Empire Financial
Gene PhillipsPresident of Empire Logistics
Rod HudsonVice President of Driver Operations
Don StroudVice President of Sales & Customer Operations
Mark HopperVice President of Safety & Risk Management
Danny WalstonVice President of Maintenance
Company Overview


Our Mission

The Empire Express mission is to develop long-term partnerships with our customers, to deliver shipments with a sense of urgency, safely and on-time, to continually improve all aspects of the company, to provide the highest quality transportation services that we can profitably, and to increase our shareholder equity.


We seek to understand our customers’ needs at every level of their supply chain. We understand our customer’s objectives of on-time pickup and delivery and meeting scheduled deadlines and we work as a team to meet these objectives safely. Empire is committed to maintaining the high level of service that our customers have come to expect from us over the years. Our philosophy, “Treat People Right,” started with founder and owner, Ed Gatlin, back in 1985. To “Treat People Right” is the way we do business and it applies to all aspects of Empire Express. It’s part of our culture.


  • ACC Certified Responsible Care® Partner
  • Customs – Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
  • Certified Signatory – International Cyanide Management Institute
  • SmartWay Carrier
Our Philosophy is “Treat People Right!”

Environmental, Health, Safety & Security Policy

Empire Express is committed to Delivering Safely … On Time!!!®

As a member of American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® Program, Empire Express is steadfast in our approach to provide excellence in environmental, health, safety and security performance.

Our Responsible Care Management System is process-based, performance-focused and designed with the intent of achieving zero accidents, injuries and environmental incidents, as we pick up and deliver our customers shipments Safely and On Time.

Our dedication to process safety, product stewardship and secure operations is demonstrated in the procurement of the best possible tools, equipment, systems and – our greatest asset – Empire Express employees.

We understand that continuous improvements are achieved by working openly with our employees, customers, vendors and government agencies and our intent is to comply with all applicable Federal and State regulations and Responsible Care® Guiding Principles.

Tim Gatlin

Call Us At 901-942-3300 to find out more!
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