This weekend, noted trucking company Celadon shut down its operations in preparation for an imminent bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the company didn’t warn its 3,000 drivers across North America. As a result, there are hundreds of truckers left stranded with no way of delivering their loads and no sure way to get rid of their rigs. Celadon has not provided drivers with fare for bus, rail, or air travel home.
Celadon’s bankruptcy was first reported on December 6, when it was revealed that the company defaulted on its loans and couldn’t find additional financing. While the company has not officially filed for bankruptcy, freight agents reported that they’ve received no calls or communication from the company. “It’s like no one is working today and have all gone home,” one freight agent said.
Drivers have reported that they were instructed to “leave their tractor-trailers at the nearest truck stop.” To add confusion, other drivers say they were ordered to stay with their equipment. Legal experts are urging drivers to avoid leaving their rigs on the side of the road for safety reasons. They’ve been advised to park the truck at a rest stop, take pictures of the truck, hide the keys, and send the location and photos to the company.
Some drivers have reported that the company’s fuel cards are no longer being accepted. Additionally, Truckstops of America is reportedly refusing to make repairs or provide roadside assistance because Celadon’s maintenance account was suspended.
Rival Trucking Companies Look to Recruit Stranded Drivers
Companies like Dart, HIrschbach, CRST, and U.S. Xpress are offering jobs and sign-on bonuses to Celadon drivers, as well as free rides home. Truckers for these companies and others have been instructed to give Celadon drivers a ride for free, regardless of whether they want a job or not. Recruiters have sent out multiple offers to prospective drivers from Celadon.
Meanwhile, employees for Celadon are unsure of whether they’ll receive unpaid wages or compensation for other costs due to the company’s sudden shutdown. Lawyers have recommended that drivers save all travel receipts and document unpaid hours to file a potential unpaid wages claim. However, there’s no guarantee it’ll be of any use.
Celadon is expected to make an official announcement on Monday, December 9 to its employees.