Kim Soon Lee was established in 1968 by Mr Lim Chai Kiui, who still oversees the running of the company as the Managing Director. It first started as a lorry transport company with a 1.5 ton truck transporting general food and industrial materials. As business picked up, the company gradually turned towards transporting chemical products, helped in large part by Mr Lim's previously work experiences in a chemical production firm. By the mid 1970s, the company had expanded to possess 5 lorries and was among the top chemical transportation companies in Singapore.
The outbreak of the Oil crisis in the late 1970s, coupled with changes to the rulings of chemical transportation then dealt a heavy blow to Kim Soon Lee's fortunes. Seeing a dramatic drop in the demand for its mainstay business, Mr Lim turned to try his luck in the heavy equipment transportation market, something he had never done before. With great determination to succeed and assisted by the boom in the construction market then, Mr Lim not only turned the tide against him but managed to build up a credible vehicular fleet. By the late 1980s, Kim Soon Lee had possessed a fleet of 12 prime movers, 25 trailers and 8 lorry cranes and became a respected name in Singapore's transportation market, with a speciality in the transportation of bulky and out of gauge cargoes.