Major trucking company with deep Pennsylvania ties closes its doors

July 31 – The Yellow Freight Trucking Company has shut down operations after 99 years of service, affecting tens of thousands of workers – some even here in our backyard. 

The company announced on Sunday it would close its business and file for bankruptcy. 

The trucks, some coming out of Carlisle, shipped freight for the big names, including Walmart and Amazon. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “It’s a huge hit. It’s the biggest hit in trucking history in the US as far as a closure, over 30,000 workers. They’ve been on the brink of bankruptcy for years. They took a $700 million bailout loan from the federal government a few years ago. They have just massive amounts of debt, crushing amounts of debt, over a billion dollars that’s coming due next year.”

The company is saying they are not in a position to repay that debt.

Barkdoll noted, “Presumably this closure is going to lead to a lot of new business for it sounds like FedEx and Old Dominion are the two other main companies that are in this same space of over the road transport of these kinds of goods. So FedEx and Old Dominion will do their best to absorb this loss, but this is a major loss for the US trucking industry.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “And isn’t it also just adding to monopolization? It was the fifth largest, but that does not strengthen the top four. You start to see this whittling down of companies to where we have a very few sort of controlling everything and then you wonder how that’s going to affect things like union contracts, which what this company said was part of the problem moving forward.”

“No doubt,” Barkdoll agreed. “And will the trucking companies leave in the space, will you see prices go up because of this monopolization dynamic? I mean, this is a major player to almost overnight remove from the entire transport space. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if you see price increases now from the other haulers because they know what used to be five, they’re now down to four, maybe even three major players.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “And how quickly this thing also seemed to move. Operations have ceased. How quickly that happened. At least when you saw the problems happening at UPS, that strike averted, but at least people had a chance to figure out okay if they’re going to have to find an alternative route here, and that was not the case with the Yellow Freight folks.”

Barkdoll said, “Virtually no notice to those workers. Those workers had also been threatening a strike. They weren’t yet to the point of the negotiations getting to that critical point, but between the labor issue and just this crushing amount of debt that was going to be due next year, management obviously made the decision, we’re just going to turn off the lights and shut it down immediately.”