Trucking company files for bankruptcy, leaving thousands without jobs

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Thousands of trucking industry workers have lost their jobs, including drivers in metro Atlanta, after a well-known company filed for bankruptcy.

Reginald Taylor said he just returned home to Cobb County after a long haul when he heard the trip was his last.

"Man, I'm sad. I'm disappointed. Celadon has been good to me and I'm sure a lot of drivers can vouch the same," Taylor told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen.

Celadon is an Indiana-based trucking company. Industry experts say while the company grossed $1 billion just a few years ago, it filed for bankruptcy this week.

It's one of the largest bankruptcy filings on record for the trucking business. It comes on the heels of federal charges against two former Celadon executives in connection with a fraud scheme.

The bankruptcy will result in the loss of 4,000 jobs, including Taylor’s.

"Over 3,000 truckers lost their jobs. On top of that, dispatchers and district managers and mechanics.  All of that. Everybody was laid off today. Nobody saw this coming at all," Taylor said.


Taylor said over the weekend fuel cards for some drivers were cut off, stranding them and their loads all over the country.

“I just really feel for the drivers and everybody. They had been working for 10 or 20 years. All of this happened overnight,” he said.

Ed Crowell with the Georgia Motor Trucking Association told Petersen there has been a serious shortage of truckers for more than a year.

Crowell said the shortage should allow for truckers who lost their jobs to find work.

Taylor agrees, but he hopes he can get a job that would keep him local rather than trucking cross-country.

"That's the sad part about it. I got used to being local. At the end of the day, I may have to go back over the road," Taylor said. "Even though we all have CDLs, we can get a job. But this was home."

Taylor said the timing of this shutdown around the holidays has been hard on everybody.

“All of my fellow drivers: If I can help them out, we're going to do that. We are a family. You know what I'm saying?"

The American Trucking Association says the United States is in dire need of truck drivers. At the end of 2018, the industry needed 60,000 more drivers than it had to meet demand.

Economists with the ATA say there could be a major disruption in freight service if hundreds of thousands of new drivers are not hired.

Their report says the trucking industry will need to hire more than 1 million new drivers over the next decade just to keep up.