One of the largest trucking companies in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy, leaving over 3,800 people without a job during the holiday season. To make matters worse, many of the 2,500 truckers employed by Indianapolis-based Celadon were left stranded across the country.
When Celadon filed for Chapter 11, the gas cards the drivers use to fill up were turned off, and the drivers were now faced with having to spend thousands of dollars to fill up their tanks so they could finish their route and return home.
"There's a lot of trucks broken down. I know about 20 trucks out of fuel. Many are sitting at truck stops waiting for a load who are now stranded because of everything that's going on," Isabella Mills, a former Celadon driver, told WFMY.
Drivers are being offered a bus pass home if they turn in their trucks, but that doesn't work for everybody, including driver Melinda Lindsey and her husband, because they lease their $80,000 vehicle.
"Mad is not the word. Pissed is not the word," Lindsey said."If we lose our truck, we've got to start all over. I'm 50, and he's 53. We can't afford to pay $80,000 again."
With Celedon closing its doors, customers can expect to see an increase in shipping costs during the busy holiday season.
"It’s one of the worst times of the year because it’s Christmas, and there’s already a rush for shipping,” John Paugh, CEO of Carter Logistics, told WXIN. “So to have a carrier that large go out is really going to affect the market.”
Paugh said he is trying his best to help the stranded drivers get home and is even offering them a signing bonus to drive for his company.
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