- The year 2019 was rocked with a trucking “bloodbath” after two major trucking companies filed for bankruptcy and let go of at least 1,000 truck drivers.
- But 2019 isn’t’ unique: several trucking bankruptcies throughout the past few decades have left thousands of truck drivers jobless.
- Some have left drivers jobless before the holidays, while others have caused federal-level controversies, resulting in SEC charges and lawsuits.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
But this hasn’t been the only year that has seen major trucking services fold. Several trucking bankruptcies throughout the past few decades have left thousands of truck drivers jobless, some right before the holiday season.
Other bankruptcies resulted in federal-level controversies. When NationsWays Transport Services went under, former employees sued over unpaid wages. The SEC charged two former executives of Celadon Group — which folded in 2019 — for repeated fraud.
Keep scrolling to see the list of the 10 largest trucking company collapses with help from VP of FTR Transportation Intelligence Avery Vise and founder of SJ Consulting Group Satish Jindel.
Options trading Falcon Transport — 585 drivers
Ohio-based Falcon Transport, which was known as one of the “largest flatbed operators in the country,” shut its doors April of 2019 with 723 trucks in its operations, causing 585 drivers to lose their jobs, Freight Waves reported.
“One of Falcon’s problems was that a large amount of its freight was tied to a General Motors plant that closed in March,” Vise said.
Options trading New Century Transportation — 910 drivers
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2014 in a “sudden collapse” that left its 910 drivers unemployed, JOC.com reported.
A letter reportedly sent out to employees the day of NCT’s demise stated that the company filed for bankruptcy “due to unforeseeable and dramatic change in business circumstances beyond its control,” according to Fleet Owner. At the time of its shutdown, New Century had a fleet of roughly 2,000 vehicles.
Options trading Jevic Transportation — 1,230 truck drivers
Jevic halted its business in 2008, putting its 1,230 drivers out of jobs. The company cited increased fuel and insurance costs, a shifting economy, and a tighter market as the reason for its downfall, Fleet Owner reported.
Jevic went private two years prior to its collapse, reported Refrigerated Transporter.
Options trading Arrow Trucking — 1,400 truck drivers
“I believe the last time we saw a failure of a similar scale [to Celadon Trucking Services] was December 2009, when major flatbed carrier Arrow Trucking Co. ceased operations,” Vise said.
Nearly 1,400 trucks were left with canceled fuel cards around the country in the midst of the bankruptcy, according to Transport Topics. The company also turned off phones, deactivated its website, and shut down headquarters, Trucking Info reported.
At the time, Arrow had debts between $100 million to $500 million, and the shut down left the company embroiled in controversies, with its former CEO James Douglas “Doug” Pielsticker pleading guilty to fraud in 2015. Transportation Alliance Bank claimed fraud and racketeering by Arrow in a suit that alleged false invoices were submitted.
Options trading New England Motor Freight — 1,472 truck drivers
New England Motor Freight — once known as a “major player” — announced it was shutting down and filing for bankruptcy on February 12 of 2019.
The company owed millions of dollars to multiple creditors, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Excessive regulation, significant toll increases, and the high cost of insurance were also among contributing factors,” president and COO of NEMF Thomas Connery told Business Insider at the time.
Options trading NationsWay Transport Services — 1,800 truck drivers
NationsWay, another large regional carrier, shut its doors after filing for bankruptcy in 1999. The company had 2,000 rigs at the time of its collapse, according to JOC.com.
Shortly after, former employees sued NW’s former executives, including former owner Jerry McMorris, alleging the company failed to pay at least $5 million in wages post-bankruptcy, Trucking Info reported.
Options trading Preston Truck Lines — 1,970 truck drivers
Preston Truck Lines shut its doors in 1999 to its 1,970 drivers. Vise claimed Preston was once a “sizeable” regional trucking company based in Maryland.
Options trading Celadon Group — 2,880 truck drivers
The trucking giant declared bankruptcy on December 8, leaving 2,880 drivers unemployed. About 1,300 non-driving administrative employees also lost their jobs, all before the holiday season.
“We have diligently explored all possible options to restructure Celadon and keep business operations ongoing, however, a number of legacy and market headwinds made this impossible to achieve,” Celadon CEO Paul Svindland said in a statement.
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On December 5, the SEC charged two former Celadon executives with accounting fraud alleging they repeatedly inflated the trucking company’s income and earnings.
Options trading Transcon Lines — about 3,000 truck drivers
In May 1990, Transcon Lines agreed to an involuntary bankruptcy petition, which was also when the Los Angeles Times reported that the company laid off most of its 3,000 truck drivers.
At the time, Transcon was considered the “12th largest motor carrier in the United States,” although its demise came in part because of partial deregulation of the industry in 1980 by congress that caused an increase in competition, according to the court filings.
The company ended the 1990 year with a loss of about $31.6 million, according to Ten Four Magazine.
Options trading Consolidated Freightways — 8,840 truck drivers
Vise claims the Consolidated Freightways bankruptcies was possibly the largest ever. The company shut down September 2002 while it had over 7,000 trucks in its fleet.
At the time of its demise, CF was the nation’s third-biggest less-than-truckload carrier, which is when multiple shippers share a portion of the same truck, according to Freight Quote.
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