Swift Logistics, a brokerage and asset-based logistics provider, announced layoffs this week
It said in a letter to Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry on Wednesday that it would close its warehouse in York, effective December 31, and that all 56 employees there would be laid off permanently.
Swift Logistics is an entity within Knight-Swift, the fourth-largest trucking company in the US by revenue. The company did not immediately respond to inquiries from Business Insider.
Knight-Swift announced third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, disclosing that adjusted operating income had plunged by 27.4% from 2018.
A downturn is hitting the trucking industry — and now even large employers are getting slammed
Trucking has faced significant headwinds this year. It has been in a recession since the first half of 2019, according to ACT Research.
Read more: Another 4,200 truck drivers lost their jobs in September as a recession slams America’s $800 billion trucking industry
In the first six months of 2019, about 640 trucking companies closed, according to industry data from Broughton Capital cited by The Wall Street Journal. That was more than triple the number from the same period last year, 175.
America slashed 9,300 trucking payrolls in September and August alone.
The recession in trucking has especially affected small carriers, who operate largely on the spot market.
Trucking loads can be picked up on demand through the spot market or through a prearranged contract. The contract market makes up most of the trucking market, according to the American Trucking Associations.
Spot-market rates have crashed in 2019, while contract market rates haven’t seen the same dip.
But these layoffs from Swift Logistics suggest again that the trucking industry’s contraction is affecting large companies too.
Roadrunner, the 31st-largest trucker in the US, announced last month that it was cutting 10% of its total workforce, all in its “unprofitable” dry-van sector.
Cold Carriers, a refrigerated trucking company with about 400 truck drivers, filed for bankruptcy protection late last month; it said it would continue operations as it restructures its debt obligations.
Meanwhile, industry leaders like J.B. Hunt and Schneider have slashed their annual outlooks this year.