Vermont-based LandAir trucking company reportedly laying off drivers
WILLISTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont-based trucking company LandAir is reportedly getting off the road. Management for New England’s largest LTL (less than truckload) trucking service has been very quiet about it, but a source close to the matter says they started mass layoffs on Tuesday.
Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, the Williston-based company employs at least 135 drivers. That doesn’t include support staff.
A former employee, who wishes not to be named, says they weren’t given any warning this was happening. There is speculation the company hasn’t officially announced a closure to avoid penalties of the WARN act.
Under federal laws, companies are required to give a 60-day notice to employees if they’re closing or mass layoffs are taking place, except for certain situations. Under Vermont law, they would also be required to notify the state. Thursday, the Vermont Labor Department said it has not received notification from the company and is looking into the potential circumstances around the reported layoffs.
We spoke with Curtis Garrett, chief strategy officer at Reconex logistics, which helps carriers and shippers to improve efficiency nationwide. He says it’s surprising LandAir would shut down, especially following recent workforce expansions and new routes into Canada. However, driver shortages and New England-specific challenges may be playing a role. “It’s very difficult to run a trucking company, specifically an LTL one in the Northeast,” Garrett said. “You’ve got a lot of the variables of the whole country but scaled down into a highly congested area. A lot of regulations, higher land cost, and higher labor costs.”
Garrett says those laid off by LandAir shouldn’t have difficulty finding jobs, as the industry nationwide is dealing with driver shortages.
The company last faced major problems back in 2016 when federal regulators shut it down for a week citing safety compliance violations. The shutdown forced LandAir to cut costs and lay off 40 people. The family-owned company was eventually able to get back on its feet but closed some operations. It entered into a partnership with North East Freightways of New Hampshire and other unnamed investors.
Corbel Capital Partners, the company that now owns LandAir, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday before this story was published.
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