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FreightWaves Haul of Fame: Land Span, Inc. lasted nearly 88 years

Finally undone by Celadon Group’s bankruptcy

A Land Span tractor-trailer on the road in better days. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Land Span was founded in Lakeland, Florida in 1932, and incorporated in 1981. At one time, Land Span was a wholly owned subsidiary of Watkins industries. However, Watkins spun off the dry van portion of Land Span in 1997 when it acquired Sunco. At that time, Watkins also merged the refrigerated assets of Land Span and Sunco into its family of companies.

Land Span grew to operate not only in the United States but also in Canada and Mexico. While it was based in Florida, the company also has major operations in Alabama,Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. 

A Land Span tractor-trailer on the move… prior to the Celadon bankruptcy. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

In 2013, Land Span became a wholly-owned dry van subsidiary of the Celadon Group. Unfortunately, Celadon Group declared bankruptcy in 2019. Read more about Celadon, and how its bankruptcy impacted thousands of employees, here

One Comment

  1. Ron Padilla

    I was the first terminal/ shop manger for Land Span in California, started December 26 2006. Built from the ground up a successful team of shop, parts, office, team members that established methodologies that lasted long after my departure and done so contrary to what others might say with a great deal of micro managing from Lakeland

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Scott Mall

Scott Mall serves as Managing Editor of FreightWaves Classics. He writes articles for the website, edits the SONAR Daily Watch series, marketing material for FreightWaves and a variety of FreightWaves special projects. Mall’s career spans 45 years in public relations, marketing and communications for Fortune 500 corporations, international non-profits, public relations agencies and government agencies.