Sources reached out to FreightWaves on the afternoon of July 11 to report that less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier LME has suddenly and abruptly shut its doors, notifying shippers they were ceasing operations.
LME is a regional LTL carrier, based in Minnesota, that operates throughout the Midwest. According to the company’s website, LME has terminals in 30 locations across the U.S. and through interline agreements services all of North America. The site also lists some of the carrier’s major accounts, including 3M, John Deere, Osram Sylvania, Brake Parts and Toro.
The company claimed that the team included “over 600 men and women.” Saferwatch lists the company having 382 power units and 1,228 trailers, with 424 truck drivers.
LME has been caught up in litigation with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over disputes related to Lakeville Motor Express, which also abruptly shut down right before Thanksgiving in 2016. According to the Minnesota newspaper, StarTribune, LME was described by the NLRB as an “the alter-ego” of Lakeville Motor Express.
In an article on June 17, 2019, the Star Tribune described the circumstances behind a $1.25M back-pay ruling.
About 95 Lakeville Motor Express truckers and dockworkers were abruptly locked out of their Roseville job site without notice or pay just before Thanksgiving 2016. While Lakeville Motor Express filed for bankruptcy, affected workers claimed the entity actually continued to operate, just at a different location in the Twin Cities and under the new name LME Inc.
Numerous articles related to the Lakeville Motor Express bankruptcy suggest that the owners bankrupted the union carrier, resurfacing as a non-union carrier under LME and Finish Line Express brands. The NLRB ordered the $1.25 million in backpay to be paid starting within 60 days from April 30, 2019, or the amount would double to $2.4 million. It is not known if the backpay or fines were the cause of the sudden closure.
This evening, the corporate website has a notice that says “effective immediately LME will no longer be accepting any pickups.” The Facebook page also linked to the company’s website was also down.
This is a developing story.