Customers of Guaranteed Overnight Delivery (G.O.D.) were urged to contact New Penn Motor Express for future less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments following the announcement that G.O.D. would wind down its LTL operations. The company said its customer service representatives would be available to help shippers address tracing, proof of delivery and other questions regarding their LTL shipments.
The volatile Northeast region has claimed at least five major less-than-truckload operations in the last 10 years. Earlier this year, USF Red Star announced it would cease operations in the Northeast. It blamed a unilateral job action by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that caused an irreparable loss of customers and revenue. USF acted quickly to extend its USF Holland operations into the region. USF Holland announced the opening of eight terminals in the region in September.
In 2002, the Northeast stalwart, A-P-A Trucking shut down its LTL operation after 50 years. Economic conditions following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and additional costs to serve the area were blamed in part for the A-P-A closing. As with G.O.D., some A-P-A operations continued, principally the non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) services between the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Three years before the A-P-A shut down, Preston Trucking closed. The company had filed for bankruptcy protection in 1990 and was later purchased by Yellow Corp. It was spun off from Yellow just a year before closing.
Ten years ago, St. Johnsbury Trucking closed its doors suddenly, forcing thousands of shipments per week onto a market that had stripped out excess capacity. Shippers and carriers struggled to find capacity as the carrier left the market.
The strong union presence in the Northeast has come into play in many of the trucking closures. Clearly, the job action at USF Red Star is a factor in that company’s decision to cease operations. Though closing down is a difficult decision and process for any company, a company that closes as a result of a labor action is accorded certain rights that don’t apply to a company that closes under different circumstances.
The A-P-A closure, though not a result of union action, listed the 2001 terror attacks as a factor, no doubt seeking any relief it could obtain from rules put in place to cover businesses affected by the attacks.
Preston is an unusual case in that many believe Yellow spun the company off rather than close it in order to avoid liability for Preston’s pension plan.
And going back to the St. Johnsbury closure, that carrier closed during contentious contract negotiations that led to an LTL industry strike. Though not a Northeast carrier, Churchill Truck Lines shut down during that strike.
New Penn, which has survived much of the recent turmoil, was an independent operating unit of Roadway Express when that company was acquired by Yellow Corp. The resulting parent, Yellow Roadway Corp. was formed on Dec. 12, 2003 when Yellow Corp. acquired Roadway Express.