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freight carrier bankruptcies

Freight Carrier Bankruptcies

Navigate the twists and turns of freight carrier bankruptcies! From industry shake-ups to opportunities rising from the ashes, discover how to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of logistics. Explore the resilience of the shipping landscape and chart a course to success

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3PLs to the Rescue

Working with a reliable and experienced 3PL like FreightCenter can benefit businesses facing disruptions caused by freight carrier bankruptcies. The 3PL’s ability to quickly respond, leverage its carrier network, and manage logistics efficiently can help businesses navigate such challenging situations and maintain their supply chain operations.

When a freight carrier goes bankrupt, it can have significant implications for businesses that rely on their transportation services. In such situations, 3PLs (Third-Party Logistics providers) can assist and help mitigate supply chain disruptions. Here’s how 3PLs can help during freight carrier bankruptcies:

Alternative Carrier Options

3PLs typically have established relationships with multiple freight carriers. When one carrier goes bankrupt, the 3PL can quickly identify and arrange alternative carrier options to ensure their clients’ continuity of shipping services.

Network of Carriers

3PLs have extensive networks of freight carriers, ranging from small local carriers to large national or international carriers. This broad network allows them to tap into a pool of carriers with diverse capabilities, ensuring that suitable carriers can handle various shipping requirements.

Risk Diversification

By working with a 3PL, businesses can spread the risk of shipping among multiple carriers. If freight carrier bankruptcies occur, the impact on the business is less severe as the 3PL can redirect shipments to other carriers within their network.

Contractual Protections

Reputable 3PLs typically have well-structured contracts and agreements with carriers. These contracts often include clauses that safeguard the interests of their clients in the event of a carrier’s bankruptcy. The 3PL can navigate the legal aspects and potentially recover losses on behalf of its clients.

Supply Chain Continuity

When a carrier suddenly goes bankrupt, it can cause disruptions to the supply chain, affecting delivery timelines and inventory management. 3PLs can assess the situation, find alternative solutions, and work with other carriers to maintain the flow of goods and minimize disruptions.

Expertise in Logistics Management

3PLs are skilled in managing logistics operations efficiently. In case of a freight carrier’s bankruptcy, the 3PL can step up to handle logistics coordination, freight booking, tracking, and other aspects of transportation management that might otherwise cause challenges for the business.

Industry Knowledge

3PLs often have in-depth knowledge of the transportation industry. They stay updated with carrier performance, financial stability, and other relevant factors. As a result, they can make informed decisions regarding carrier selection and minimize the risk of partnering with carriers prone to financial instability.

Support in Claims Processing

In the unfortunate event of financial losses due to a carrier’s bankruptcy, the 3PL can assist their clients in the claims process, helping them recover losses through insurance or other means.

That’s why partnering with a 3PL like FreightCenter is the simplest way. We have active contracts with more than 45 LTL carriers. If one carrier should go bankrupt, it will not slow down our customers. We offer Full or Partial Truckload shipments, and we have hundreds of Truckload carriers and independent operators nationwide at our disposal.

When dealing directly with a carrier, the key is your contract. That’s all you have to rely on.

When partnering with a 3PL, there are several keys, including:

Experience | A startup 3PL may not have the relationships or resources to help you in a time of need.

Network | You need to be sure that the broker’s network can handle all of your needs, even in an emergency.

Status | If you’re an SMB and your 3PL deals primarily with enterprise-level shippers, it’s unlikely that you will be very important to them.

People | Having access to shipping experts and the ability to build a relationship with them can make all the difference in being a successful shipper.

FreightCenter has been serving SMB shippers for over 25 years, with an impressive network of truck carriers covering the entire U.S. and Canada. We want to be your shipping partner, and our staff of in-house shipping experts is ready to help.

Getting ready to ship? Start with a free online quote, or give us a call at 800.716.7608.

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freight carrier bankruptcies infographic with 4 key points, economic downturn, high operating costs, competition, over expansion

Freight carrier bankruptcies make 3PLs more important to shippers than ever. In 2017, New England Motor Freight (NEMF) generated $402 million in revenue. On February 12, 2019, NEMF, the country’s 19th largest LTL carrier, shut down operations and announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection. One thousand four hundred seventy-two truck drivers were out of work in the most significant U.S. trucking company shutdown since Consolidated Freightways in 2002.

The NEMF bankruptcy rocked the freight-shipping industry, but it turned out to be just the first in a rash of carrier bankruptcies in 2019. As of July 31, seven trucking companies have filed for bankruptcy, leaving over 2,500 drivers plus administrative and field support personnel out of work.While NEMF was multiple carriers, the other six that shuttered their businesses ranged in size from Starlite Trucking to Falcon Transport.

Causes of Freight Carrier Bankruptcies


Economic Downturn:

A significant economic downturn or recession can reduce demand for shipping services, leading to decreased revenue for freight carriers.

High Operating Costs

Rising fuel prices, maintenance expenses, and labor costs can increase a freight carrier’s operating expenses, affecting its profitability.

Intense Competition

The freight and shipping industry can be highly competitive, and carriers may engage in price wars to win business, leading to reduced profit margins.

Inefficient Operations

Poor management practices, inefficient logistics, and ineffective cost control measures can impact a freight carrier’s financial health.


Rapid expansion without proper financial planning and sustainability assessment can strain a freight carrier’s resources and lead to financial instability.

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Options for Freight Carrier Bankruptcies


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Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

In the United States, freight carriers may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows the company to reorganize its finances while continuing its operations under court supervision.


In some cases, a freight carrier may choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves liquidating assets to repay debts.

Restructuring or Acquisition

Some freight carriers may attempt to restructure their operations or seek acquisition by a stronger competitor to survive financial difficulties.



Impact of Freight Carrier Bankruptcies

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Shipments may be delayed or disrupted, leading to inconvenience and potential financial losses for businesses and individuals relying on the carrier’s services.

Suppliers and Contractors

Companies providing goods and services to the carrier may face losses if the carrier cannot pay its outstanding bills.


Freight carrier bankruptcies can lead to job losses for employees working for the company, causing financial hardship for them and their families.


Creditors, such as banks and lenders, may face losses if they cannot recover the money owed to them by the bankrupt carrier.

Why Use FreightCenter

Shipping can be expensive and unpredictable. Compare the shipping rates and service options of different carriers to find the most cost-effective solution without compromising safety and reliability.

FreightCenter can compare costs for you!


Trucking is a popular mode of transportation for shipping pavers, especially for shorter distances or domestic shipments.

Freight Truck

Trucks offer flexibility in terms of routes and delivery schedules, making them suitable for delivering large orders to construction sites, warehouses, or retail locations.

Ocean Freight

For international shipments or long-distance transportation across continents, ocean freight is commonly used. Bulk commodities are typically shipped in containers, either as full container loads (FCL) or less-than-container loads (LCL).

Air Freight

Air freight is the fastest mode of transportation, ideal for time-sensitive shipments or when immediate delivery is crucial. However, it is generally more expensive than other modes and may be less practical for large or heavy shipments.

Rail Freight

Rail freight is an efficient option for shipping large quantities of pavers over long distances. Rail transport can handle heavy loads and is cost-effective for bulk shipments.


FTL stands for Full Truckload. In this shipping method, the entire available space in a truck is dedicated to a single shipment. When shipping pavers via FTL, the pavers will fill up the entire truck, and the shipment will not be shared with any other cargo from different customers.


LTL stands for Less-than-Truckload. In this shipping method, the truck's available space is shared by multiple shipments from different customers, including pavers from various suppliers. Each shipment is packed into separate pallets or crates and loaded together on the same truck.


Local deliveries for furniture and other home goods.

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FreightCenter Makes Life Simple


There are several steps you can take to avoid problems with freight carrier bankruptcies and minimize potential disruptions in your shipments. At FreightCenter we specialize in finding you the best carrier for your cargo and ensure your cargo makes it to its destination on time.

1. Choose Reputable Carriers

Opt for well-established and reputable freight carriers with a proven track record of reliable service: research customer reviews and ratings to gauge the carrier’s performance and customer satisfaction. FreightCenter is focused on carrier options and 3PLs can find new carriers with all available options.

2. Diversify Carrier Partnerships

Avoid relying solely on one freight carrier for all your shipments. Work with multiple carriers to spread the risk. If one carrier faces financial trouble, you have alternative options to fall back on.

3. Monitor Carrier Financial Health

Regularly check the financial health of the carriers you work with. Look for public financial reports or news articles that provide insights into their stability and financial performance.

4. Consider Shipping Insurance

Depending on the value of your shipments, consider purchasing shipping insurance. This type of insurance will provide financial protection if your goods are lost, damaged, or delayed due to carrier bankruptcy or other unforeseen events.

5. Stay Informed

Keep yourself updated on industry news and any developments related to the carriers you use. Be aware of any rumors or financial concerns that might indicate potential problems with a carrier.

6. Have a Contingency Plan

Develop a contingency plan in case your primary carrier encounters financial difficulties. Identify alternative carriers you can quickly switch to if needed.

7. Communicate with the Carrier

Establish good communication with the carrier’s customer service. If you have any concerns about a shipment or the carrier’s financial stability, reach out to them for reassurance and updates.

8. Utilize Package Tracking

Take advantage of package tracking services provided by the carrier. This will allow you to monitor your shipments’ progress and receive updates on any potential delays.



Freight Carrier Bankruptcies FAQs

Q. Is trucking business going down in 2023?


Yes, the trucking business is experiencing a decline in 2023. Industry insiders, analysts, and truckers all agree on the gloomy outlook, attributing it to slow retail sales and lower factory demand. This downturn is having a ripple effect on the freight industry as a whole.

Q.  Why are so many trucking companies going out of business?


Many trucking companies are going out of business due to a shortage of qualified drivers. The disappearing pool of CDL drivers hinders their ability to scale and meet customer demands for freight transportation. Less available drivers means less capacity for the companies to handle business efficiently and profitably.

Q. Is Yellow freight losing money?


Yes, Yellow freight is losing money. As of June, their cash holdings decreased to over 100 million from around 235 million at the end of 2022. Additionally, they incurred a net loss of $54.6 million in Q1, nearly double the previous year’s loss.

Q. Why is Yellow filing bankruptcies?


Yellow is filing for bankruptcy due to heavy debts, customer loss, and the risk of a strike. This has resulted in a significant 80% decrease in freight volume. The trucking giant’s decision to file for bankruptcy was reported by anonymous sources to The Wall Street Journal.

Q. How many employees does Yellow have?


Yellow has a total of 30,000 employees. You can access a detailed list of Yellow employees, including their locations, business contact details, and key personnel, to get a comprehensive overview.

Q. Is YRC and Holland merging?


Yes, YRC and Holland are merging to create a super-regional carrier. LTL carrier Yellow Corp. aims to consolidate New Penn and Holland regional carriers with YRC Freight. This move is part of their plan to provide one- to two-day deliveries nationwide, forming a powerful logistics network.

Q. Who owns YRC Freight?


Yellow Corporation, a transportation holding company based in Overland Park, Kansas, owns YRC Freight along with other subsidiaries like New Penn, Holland, Reddaway, and HNRY Logistics.