Karen and Harry Muhlschlegel founded Jevic Transportation Inc. in 1981 in Delano, New Jersey. The name “Jevic” was a combination of the names of the three Muhlschlegel children. Founding a trucking company just one year after the trucking industry was deregulated was ambitious, but the gamble proved profitable.
Jevic Transportation enjoyed prosperity throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s. Unlike other less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, Jevic rejected a traditional hub and spoke network and breakbulk centers. Instead, Jevic employed dock-to-dock delivery. Jevic Transportation also made a name for itself by accepting LTL freight that was heavier than was typical. Eventually, the company evolved and serviced both LTL and truckload freight.
Continued success in 1990s
Between 1992 and 1996, Jevic Transportation increased its profits by 29%. By 1994, it had started to employ a satellite tracking system for its shipments and boasted that it was the first coast-to-coast carrier to do so. This innovation helped the company land over 5,000 clients, and its revenues soared. Expected revenues in 1994 were over $125 million. By this time, it had 1,100 employees and offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte and Chicago.
Jevic Transportation went public in 1997. The company had grown even more that year, and had 1,750 employees. That same year, the Muhlschlegels had also made the decision to hire owner-operators to lower their investment threshold to expand. The company was operating with a considerable amount of debt although its revenues were substantial. In 1998, it reported revenues of $226.1 million.
Jevic Transportation is acquired and more…
In 1999 the company was acquired by Yellow Corporation in an attempt by Yellow to grow its regional services. Jevic Transportation had grown to over 2,000 employees. The transaction was valued at over $200 million. Under the terms of the acquisition, Jevic would function as a stand-alone subsidiary and retain its employees and management.
Just two years later (2001), Yellow elected to spin off Jevic Transportation and another of its subsidiaries, Saia, into SCS Transportation. It was not long before company shareholders were pressuring SCS to relinquish control of Jevic, as the company was still underperforming. SCS sold Jevic to Sun Capital Partners, an investment capital firm, in a $40 million transaction in 2006.
An abrupt ending
Unfortunately, Jevic could not make ends meet financially under its new management. In May 2008, Jevic abruptly closed its doors, citing the rising costs of fuel and insurance in a recessionary economy. Over 1,000 employees were left without jobs with no notice as the company filed for bankruptcy. Shortly afterward, 1,800 former Jevic employees filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging they should have been given at least 60 days’ notice before being terminated. In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the favor of the employees seeking lost wages.