Its been a few months since we lost NEMF. It looks like the truckload division has been purchased by Estes. I’m not sure we’ll see the Eastern Freightways circus wagons running around anymore but in a weird way, I hope we do.
In the last few weeks a couple notables have disappeared off the trucking landscape as well. Falcon in Ohio and LME in the upper mid-west both suddenly and without notice closed and left their employees without checks for work already performed. Falcon actually left drivers stranded on the road with an uninsured truck and no fuel card funding.
LME had some labor issues and had just lost a court action. Falcon’s investors pulled the plug. Earlier this year Tom Connery of NEMF was quoted as blaming the high cost of operating in the Northeast. The thing that should make you go “hmmmm” with all of this is that it wasn’t even a year ago we were BEGGING for capacity. All the trucks were full, carriers couldn’t make pickups and then once they had the freight, they couldn’t make their promised delivery dates. What the heck is going on in an industry where companies across the board are at capacity and still struggling to make enough money to stay in business?
At some point there will have to be a seismic change in the way we move freight from the manufacturers to the store shelves. I’m not sure what that is, perhaps more consolidation among the carriers, perhaps more automation (self driving trucks anyone?) or perhaps more reliance on intermodal rail for shorter hauls.
I don’t have the answers – sorry – feel free to jump in the discussion