Embattled Truck Carrier Yellow Ceases Operations - Modern Distribution Management

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Embattled Truck Carrier Yellow Ceases Operations

After years of financial trouble and recent labor disrupts, North America’s third largest truck carrier is filing for bankruptcy.

On July 31, North America’s third largest for-hire truck carriers ceased operations, Yellow Corp. notified union employees that the less-than-truckload giant was filing for bankruptcy, according to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

The bankruptcy would follow years of financial trouble for the Nashville-based company, and come on the heels of a labor dispute between the company and 22,000 union workers. The negotiations over missed pension payments and other contract terms nearly ended in a strike, an action that drove the company’s truck volumes down as customers diverted movements to other LTL companies. 

In June, Yellow tried to restructure its operations to refinance billions in debt (including a $700 million national security loan received as part of COVID-19 relief funding, which was later deemed a mistake.) The move was blocked by the union. 

And then, just days before news of this apparent shutdown, Yellow announced it was shopping its non-union, independent logistics division, a third-party logistics broker called Yellow Logistics that specializes in warehousing and distribution services. 

“Today’s news is unfortunate but not surprising,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien wrote in a news release. “Yellow has historically proven that it could not manage itself despite billions of dollars in worker concessions and hundreds of millions in bailout funding from the federal government. This is a sad day for workers and the American freight industry.”

“With 30,000 jobs at stake, it’s poised to be the largest trucking bankruptcy in the history of the U.S.,” NPR reported. Yellow’s customers include The Home Depot. 

Some competitors have recorded jumps in freight volume, and news outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Common Carrier Journal have reported that supply chain disruption is expected to be minimal. 

As of the time of publishing, Yellow has not confirmed the bankruptcy publicly.

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