Trans Supply sold to Hedgewood International

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Claude Johnson started as a delivery driver, and wound up owning East St. Louis’ Trans Supply Co. After three decades, Johnson will be retiring and selling Trans Supply to Hedgewood International. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

From his modest beginnings as a part-time sales and delivery boy in April 1971, Johnson was promoted just six months later to executive vice president. Two years later, Johnson bought Trans Supply and turned it into what is now one of the most successful trailer repair and freight trailer parts supply shops in the country. Trans Supply proved profitable 80 percent of its years in operation.

“East St. Louis was the perfect home for Trans Supply,” Johnson says. “It treated us well.”

Hedgewood plans to continue operating Trans Supply in East St. Louis — the company also has a satellite office in Kansas City — and its leadership will remain in the Johnson family: Claude’s son, Allen Johnson, who has been involved in every aspect of the business for more than 26 years, will serve as Trans Supply’s new president.

For more information on Hedgewood International, go to