- The trucking giant Celadon declared bankruptcy on Monday, according to federal filings.
- It’s poised to be the largest truckload bankruptcy in history, according to FreightWaves, which broke the story on Friday from internal sources.
- The bankruptcy has the potential to leave nearly 3,000 truck drivers stranded away from home. The company assured truck drivers in an internal message after midnight on Monday that they would not be stranded and that they would receive full payment for their work.
The trucking “bloodbath” of 2019 is taking another remarkably dire turn as the year draws to a close.
Indianapolis-based Celadon, a truckload carrier that grossed $1 billion as recently as 2015, filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 9. It’s poised to be the largest truckload bankruptcy in history, leading industry publication FreightWaves reported on Friday.
While the Chapter 11 filing implies that Celadon will restructure, the company is in fact shuttered. “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,” CEO Paul Svindland said in a statement.
And the company’s drivers and employees are getting slammed.
Nearly 4,000 employees are suddenly jobless, weeks before the holidays
The bankruptcy has the potential to leave nearly 3,000 truck drivers stranded away from home. While the company has assured truck drivers that will not happen, some truck drivers have told Business Insider that they have had to take matters into their own hands to get home.
Celadon employs 2,500 truck drivers, and works with 380 owner-operators. The shuttering also leaves some 1,300 administrative employees, most of whom work in Celadon’s Indianapolis headquarters, jobless right before the holidays.
An internal document shared with Business Insider revealed that employees lost health insurance before learning that the company was closing. They also will not receive unused vacation pay.
Celadon sent a message shortly after midnight on Dec. 9 informing truck drivers that the company was filing for Chapter 11 and that all loads in transit would be delivered, according to images shared with Business Insider. Celadon did not immediately respond to a Business Insider request for comment.
Here’s the full text of the message (line breaks and emphasis ours):
** Fleetwide message: We regret to inform everyone that Celadon Group Inc. has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We will continue to haul and deliver all loads that we now have in transit. We will have more information in the morning as to where equipment needs to be returned to.
We have been assured that everyone who follows instructions will be paid for the work and miles assigned and completed, and Celadon will not leave anyone stranded away from home.
Finally, we truly appreciate your commitment and dedication to this company, and wish you all luck moving forward.
According to a federal filing, Celadon is seeking to pay its total 3,800 employees around $3.9 million in unpaid wages, along with more than $1 million in termination bonuses. The termination payment works out to about $267 per worker.