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Canadian carriers court drivers from bankrupt Celadon’s Hyndman Transport

While trucking companies stand to gain from a competitor’s collapse, they lament the loss of an industry stalwart.

As news of Celadon’s coming bankruptcy spread over the weekend, the leadership of Canadian trucking company C.A.T. took little pleasure from the demise of its competitor — even as it stood to gain drivers and freight.

“We don’t like to see other trucking companies go out of business,” President Daniel Goyette said during a meeting with his senior management.

Quebec-based C.A.T. and fellow Canadian carriers moved quickly after Celadon’s Canadian subsidiary Hyndman Transport shut down on Dec. 9 as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

While Canadian carriers frequently complain about the struggle to find qualified drivers, there was a sense of a collective purpose in getting Hydnman’s newly unemployed truckers back in service ahead of the holidays.

“We’re in a very aggressive industry. We fight down to the penny. But now, the industry is coming together,” said C.A.T. Vice President Marc Blanchette.

C.A.T. hopes to fill trucks and add owner-operators to its Canada- and U.S.-based fleets, which each number about 300 trucks. The carrier has already hired Hyndman’s former Quebec operations manager and hopes to bring on the 40 drivers the manager oversaw.

The carrier is also recruiting former Celadon drivers to fill trucks from its U.S. base in Charlotte, North Carolina.

C.A.T. has a steady business focusing on auto parts transport and doing line hauls for e-commerce. Most of the freight is stable and contracted, something Hyndman drivers may appreciate.

“The drivers should call us,” Blanchette said. “We’ll definitely find a fit where we can. Our goal is to bring on a driver and have them stay on for 20, 30 years.”

Hyndman had an estimated 300 to 400 trucks at the time of closure, handling domestic Canadian and cross-border freight, much of it contracted. The founding of the Ontario trucking stalwart preceded Celadon’s acquisition by nearly 80 years.

“I’m not celebrating. A handful of people messed up a legacy,” said Ted Daniel, CEO of Titanium Transportation Group, based in Bolton, Ontario, referring to Celadon management. “My heart goes out to the drivers. It’s painful to see the suffering.”

Titanium, with a fleet of about 600 trucks, also has actively recruited Hyndman drivers, even dispatching staff to the former terminals.

“We could easily absorb 30 to 40 drivers,” Daniel said.

He said Titanium has plenty of freight for the new drivers to take on. Drivers can also take comfort in working for a carrier with a strong balance sheet and a team well-prepared for economic headwinds in 2020.

“My guys are preparing for war – in terms of next year’s economy,” Daniel said.

Drivers interested in working for C.A.T. can visit www.catdrives.com or call 800-363-05313 ext. 6382. Perspective Titanium drivers can visit https://www.ttgi.com/careers.php. Drivers can also visit the FreightWaves job board.

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Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

14 Comments

  1. Quote:
    “But now, the industry is coming together,” said C.A.T. Vice President Marc Blanchette.”

    The industry is coming together ??? It’s falling apart at the seams !!!

    Carriers have a hard time attracting drivers !

    AND truck drivers are fed up of the BS exploitation , lack of respect , lack of freedom, and lack of fair pay in the industry .

    Someone is obviously not up to date and or is attempting to sell us a bias story .

    In my humble opinion ………….

    I’ll recopy a couple comments I posted under one of freightwaves podcasts concerning what took place with Celadon because I believe it concerns ALL carriers/employers and truck drivers / lease ops and OO’s

    Back in a moment .

    1. Many of these other truck companies treatment of truck drivers is not good. We need a total overhaul of the rates and detention time pay. I have 3 trucks sitting and flatbed trailer and a reefer trailer. At current rates will hard to pay enough to support a family of the truck driver. The rates this summer coming back to Canada same as in 2008 plus stupid E-LOGS. My trucks are parked inside 20 minutes from the wroxter yard can get produce and flatbed. I suggest every body from Celadon look for a different kind of work. 5195239586

        1. He I’d the reason I got my own running rights after working for his company for almost 18 months I was short changed on my pay. When I was told by dispatch to run illegal for his company when my co team driver didn’t show up a I did a team load from Cambridge to Quebec City and back with out any sleep got paid half team rate I went to fix they the other truck driver got the other half which he did not. A another time a took a load from Cambridge to Montreal and when backdoor open had to restacked the whole load over 2 days with the help of 3 temp staff iphonedin after 6 hours the first day they were to quit so dispatch said to buy 2 large pizzas and would reimbursed. I worked 25 hours over 2 days to prevent a$4000 plus damage claim on a transfer load. I was not paid for time or the 24.17 for the pizzas and 2 large bottle of Pop. I know of another truck driver that he got his license was new and had just got a truck with a bad seat and quit after 3 months
          P s I That cost the taxpayer over one hundred thousand dollars as he is on On the disability.. The. only reason the equipment is sitting is when rates are good you can make good money
          I’m low rates times it is better to sitt than run cheaper freight. Dan is one of the reasons I hate the O T A so much.

      1. Stephen

        Don’t take offence to the lack of class that undignified clown used to address you . He just showed the public on this site the type of mentality and lack of class that some major carriers have . He’s the president of Challenger Motor Freight .

        Google his name . And while you’re at it , look up driver reviews that worked and work at Challenger . Challenger management(dispatchers) forced truck drivers to cheat their log books . It’s due to these type of undignified major carriers that ELD’s unfortunately need to be enforced . They abused the system and forced their drivers to break the law .

        And that’s one of the main reasons why some drivers got fed up at that company and pushed for a union . I believe it was in 2010 that the Teamsters were voted in . Apparently the driver pay is pathetic there as well . According to some reviews drivers were treated like dirt and cheated .

        I repeat , if truck drivers formed a new age “Truck Driver Alliance” , companies like Challenger Motor Freight would cease to exist .

        In my humble opinion …………

  2. Quote:

    “Navigating the Celadon shutdown and breaking a story on What The Truck?!? [podcast]”

    And here is my first comment .

    Noble1
    says:
    12/10/2019 at 8:04 pm

    Listen from 37:10 to 37:41 Trucks getting repoed

    Drivers were forced to vacate the trucks by law enforcement as they were being repoed while they slept in them at a truck stop .
    Something is definitely amiss here . Why were these trucks being repossessed ? Were the payments not up to date ? What is legitimate about having the right to repossess a truck that is not late on its payments and stranding drivers in a parking lot ?
    Something is definitely not clear regarding this issue .

    Furthermore , what can possibly justify such an inhumane act ? But that’s fine , you want to be “ruthless” , well two can play that game . However , I suggest simply being wise , prudent , and ethical .

    Now due to this whole event of stranding truck drivers and making them go through inhumane experiences due to the mismanagement of Celadon , how can we as truck drivers prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again to truck drivers that work as employees for carriers ? This sort of behavior should not be provided with a second occasion .

    Because from my point of view this occurred because truck drivers were vulnerable due to entrusting their employers in good faith to treat them with dignity and provide them with the means to return comfortably as any other day in the past .

    Yes management could have simply called back drivers FIRST to their terminals for a general meeting . THEN release the info to outsiders BEFORE the recent SEC announcement .

    But there is no point in going back in the past for now . We need a solution to ensure that this sort of barbaric careless treatment will never happen again !

    What we need to ensure is that no truck driver will ever be positioned in such a vulnerable position and experience such an undignified atrocity which would render them victim to treatment again . Because this can certainly happen again with any company .

    So things obviously need to change . It can be as simple as demanding that a company ensure the funds to pay your wages are held in escrow . That a fuel card does not only give access to credit but must ensure preloaded funds are accessible for either the whole trip or per trip from and back to the terminal .

    What this situation with Celadon and many before it has clearly brought to light is that drivers can no longer allow themselves to trust an employer nor a corporation blindly . It’s nothing personal , it’s business . And drivers must not allow a business’s mismanagement issues too become personal issues .

    Same for lease ops and brokers . NO MORE CREDIT TO YOUR SHIPPERS NOR CARRIERS !

    We can look at this from many different angles . As a consumer when you “order” a good off of the internet and it is shipped to you , more often than not you will need to pay for shipping . And more often than not you will pay the shipping “fees” upfront before receiving your good(s) . NO CREDIT IS EXTENDED ON SHIPPING ! Seldomly you may be offered to pay C.O.D .
    So now a trucking transportation employer should need to guarantee you won’t suffer , nor screw you , and that you won’t be left stranded , nor be in a position where you’ll be forced out of a truck that is going to be repossessed .

    So drivers will need to create a few regulations of their own or remain at the mercy of another company which can potentially position themselves in the same sort of dire circumstance and repeat the same sort of behavior rendering you a victim of their mismanagement .

    Of course it would be a lot simpler to HAVE FREAKING UNITED as a “Truck Driver Alliance ” to prevent such things by being ALL on the same page .

    BUT you chose to do differently and remain divided and each one to fend for themselves .

    The least you can do is protect yourself . However, by being divided it won’t prevent another from competing with you and provide/offer “credit” and or blind faith to the employer and or shipper .

    Learn from this situation and protect yourselves because NONE of us can guarantee that this won’t reoccur with another .
    We have trusted in good faith , and we ended up getting screwed . So we should admit to having exercised bad judgement . And by admitting that it is our fault , not only do we gain power through taking responsibility , we also gain experience , and from that experience we also gained wisdom which shall be used to apply GOOD JUDGEMENT ! Now based on good judgement you can ‘prevent” this potential reoccurrence by being “prudent” due to your experience .

    So by taking responsibility YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO RESPOND ! So “respond” wisely .

    In my humble opinion ………..

    1. I agree but under the old NAFTA deal when the federal government of Canada tried to bring these rules a number of companies including Celadon said trust US . The A T A with help from the C T A help to threatened a law suit against the federal government. I am considering going to legislature and protest like I did on 2006 about our government on the B S E issue.

  3. And here is the second one , But pay very close attention to the one underneath this one ………

    Noble1
    says:
    12/10/2019 at 8:22 pm

    Truck drivers are not in the business of extending credit , they are not BANKS !

    A “Truck Driver Alliance” could certainly position themselves to create and own their own bank and extend credit with “interest” to outsiders , however , truck drivers are currently not aligned nor united to create anything even remotely close to what I’m suggesting .

    We’re still in the dark age acting like divided dependants at the mercy of others . This is what needs to change in order to protect yourselves and gain a little more independence . We need to evolve . Our unfortunate experiences should act like the stick to motivate us to render our lives a little more joyful and pleasant .

    In my humble opinion ………

    Wishing you nothing less than the very best !

    Sincerely ,
    Noble1

      1. “Dan” ,

        A child would know better than to use a lowercase letter for the first letter when printing their name .
        What does that define about you ?

        Thanks for demonstrating that your IQ level is equivalent to Celadon’s current share price .

        “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”

        Or is that proverb a little above your comprehension level as well ? (wink)

        In my humble opinion …………..

  4. Ok and now for the finally

    What you major carriers et Al are forcing truck drivers into doing is creating a REVOLUTION !

    I hope you’re proud of yourselves . THEY CAN’T TRUST YOU ANY LONGER !

    They need to step back and think about protecting themselves and looking out for their best interests BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT !

    That’s all , it’s that simple .

    In my humble opinion …………………….

  5. As TROOPER wisely stated :

    Raise a little hell , raise a little hell , RAISE A LITTLE HELL !

    Quote :

    “If you don’t like
    What you got
    Why don’t you change it

    If your world is all screwed up
    Rearrange it

    Raise a little Hell, raise a little Hell, raise a little Hell
    Raise a little Hell, raise a little Hell, raise a little Hell

    If you don’t like what you see
    Why don’t you fight it

    If you know there’s something wrong
    Why don’t you right it ”

    In my humble opinion ……………….

  6. Ok this one should talk to you . Rather than listen to me , listen to it .

    CCR Who’ll stop the rain ! I’m certainly trying to , however , I can’t do it on my own . What are you willing to do about the “rain” ?

    But before you do listen to it , read this , and I quote :

    ” Who’ll Stop the Rain” is written in the classic folk tradition about the lives of common people neglected by those in power. It’s a political statement against politicians who boast of all the wonderful accomplishments they pretend to have achieved, but in reality have done nothing to improve peoples lives. Wishing for someone to stop the “rain” is a masked reference to wishing someone will rise up to stop the “reign” of neglect toward common folk.”

    Now that statement should hit home , it pretty much fits the Celadon situation in regards to how drivers/employees were treated recently by the corporate “reign” .

    And , Quote:

    “When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked, “Does ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ contain lyrically specific meanings besides the symbolic dimension?” His response: “Certainly, I was talking about Washington when I wrote the song, but I remember bringing the master version of the song home and playing it. My son Josh was four years old at the time, and after he heard it, he said, ‘Daddy stop the rain.’ And my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Well, not quite.'”

    In my humble opinion …………

  7. ‘We were lied to’: bankruptcy leaves truckers stranded as holidays near
    December 10 2019

    Quoted in parts :

    “Andrea Smith has a daughter who turns eight on 20 December, five days before Christmas. Now the trucker’s birthday and Christmas plans have been thrown into disarray by the largest trucking firm bankruptcy in history.”

    “I’m not sure what’s going to happen or if I’ll get to be home if I’m able to find another job quickly. I’m crushed,” said Smith, a truck operator for Celadon, hours after it declared it was going out of business.

    Many of the truck drivers were left stranded in the midst of making deliveries, as they await receiving bus tickets from the company to return home, now jobless and left without benefits two weeks before Christmas. Their fuel cards were shut off, and many were reported left without any directions on where or how to turn in their rigs.

    “We were lied to for months,” said Smith, who has worked for Celadon for a year. “We’ve been ignored, some stranded for days. I’ve still yet to hear from anyone at Celadon besides the message after midnight last night that was fleet-wide.”

    Smith received the news about 50 miles away from her home in Centreville, Alabama. She explained the company asked her to drive her truck and leave it in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she would receive a bus ticket back home, but she plans on leaving her truck at the Celadon terminal in Gadsden, Alabama.”

    RE-QUOTE :

    “We were lied to for months,” said Smith, who has worked for Celadon for a year. “We’ve been ignored, some stranded for days. ”

    End quote .

    Let that statement by Andrea Smith sink in to your minds and never forget it . For you never know , it just may happen to you .

    It’s nothing new , it’s Déjà Vu !!!

    Quote :

    “In a story echoing that of the high-profile Christmas Eve 2009 closure of mega-fleet Arrow Trucking, the 700-truck operation of Falcon Transport on Friday, April 26 suddenly ceased operations. The Youngstown, Ohio-based fleet deployed text messages, emails and messages via ELDs to drivers and workers notifying them to halt work.

    The closure left drivers stranded without jobs, pay, access to fuel or even a way home. ”

    End quote .

    AND AGAIN !

    Carrier Shuts Down, Leaves 300+ Drivers Stranded

    Quote :

    “It wasn’t too long ago when sudden closures like the one at Arrow Trucking was an anomaly. When the carrier stranded hundreds of drivers just three days before Christmas in 2009, drivers were shocked. Yet recently it seems almost normal that drivers are finding out that their carrier has gone under only when their fuel cards stop working. Now it’s happened again, with hundreds of HVH Transportation drivers left out in the cold.

    HVH Transportation Inc. officially shut down on August 27th according to Transport Topics. CEO John Kenneally, reportedly told reporters that the shutdown was due in part to rising insurance premiums. When the company ran out of money, Kenneally claims that the bank froze the company’s assets. Kenneally says that once the fuel card operators caught wind, they froze the accounts, shutting truckers’ access to fuel immediately. That’s when drivers began finding out that the company was going under.

    Despite Kenneally’s apparent implication that the shutdown was out of the company’s hands, a high level executive at the company told reporters that the company had been in tough financial straits for a while and that the bank had actually frozen the company’s accounts once before back in March. Other reporting disputes Kenneally’s claim that he is trying to avoid stranding drivers.

    The situation is becoming all too familiar. Earlier this year, LME stranded a reported 400+ drivers nationwide and approximately 585 Falcon Transport drivers were employed when the company shut down without any notice. All three companies are thought to be in violation of the federal WARN act which requires companies with 100 employees or more to give their workers at least 60 days’ notice ahead of mass layoffs.

    The private equity firm that owns HVH is referring reporters’ questions back to Kenneally.

    End quote .
     

    Don’t allow this to happen to you by those with a low IQ !

    In my humble opinion ………..

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