Waco, Texas-based Central Freight Lines has notified drivers, employees & customers that the less-than-truckload carrier plans to wind down operations today after 96 years. As of today, the company has stopped picking up freight & expects to deliver remaining freight in its system by Dec. 20th. Ranked as the nation’s 23rd largest LTL carrier, the company was a key player in Southwestern/ Southern regions & is the largest LTL company to close since New England Motor Freight (NEMF) in 2019. NEMF, was also a privately owned regional LTL carrier that suffered operating losses at a time when most of its competitors were profitable or beginning to improve profitability.
With that being said, there are about 2,000 employees out in the pool of unemployment. Since FreightWaves broke the news of Central Freight Lines closing shop, other LTL companies have quickly responded and are playing recruitment in order to gain those employees. Estes being the most aggressively interested to “add many of CFL’s 1,325 drivers to its fleet.” CFL President Bruce Kalem told FreightWaves “Estes is definitely the largest company interested in hiring our people and they are a solid carrier; however, there are others contacting us about hiring our people during this difficult time”.
Other LTL companies are also interested: “TFI International’s TForce Freight, Saia, and XPO Logistics have also expressed interest in hiring many of the company’s drivers, dockworkers and management personnel and are looking at buying some of its equipment.”.
Central Freight will cease picking up new shipments effective Monday and expects to deliver substantially all freight in its system by Dec. 20, according to a company statement
Source: Freightwaves.com, wsj.com