J. Harwood Cochrane, founder of two companies, passes

A man who started his transportation career in the horse and buggy days and went on to create two successful trucking companies has passed.

J. Harwood Cochrane died Monday, July 25 in Richmond, Virginia. He was 103.

See The Richmond Times-Dispatch story on Mr. Cochrane.

“Mr. Cochrane began his legendary career in the trucking industry in 1933, when he traded in his Ford car for a Chevrolet tractor and trailer, and he and a brother started hauling freight from Richmond to Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.  In 1935, he founded Overnite Transportation Company, which he built

J. Harwood Cochrane

based on his values and work ethic and grew into one of the largest and most successful trucking companies in the United States.  In 1986, he reluctantly sold Overnite to Union Pacific Railroad for the unprecedented sale price of $1.2 billion – an offer he accepted for the good of his shareholders.  In 1991, at age 79 and at the conclusion of a five-year non-compete clause, he founded another trucking company, Highway Express, which he sold in 2003.”

Visitation for Mr. Cochrane will be held Friday, July 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Woody Funeral Home, 1771 N. Parham Rd. in Richmond. His funeral is Saturday at 11 a.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1925 Grove Ave. in Richmond.