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Michigan trucking company auctioning equipment after 50 years

Family-owned Art Mulder & Sons ceased operations in November

Family-owned Art Mulder & Sons Trucking of Holland, Michigan, will be auctioning off its assets on Tuesday after closing its doors in Nov. (Photo: Art Mulder & Sons Trucking)

An online auction is slated for Tuesday to sell the assets of family-owned Art Mulder & Sons Trucking (AMST) of Holland, Michigan.

The move comes two months after the refrigerated less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier ceased operations in late November after more than 50 years.

Orbitbid, which is owned by Michigan-based Miedema Asset Management Group, is handling the online auction of more than 180 pieces of equipment owned by AMST, including 35 semi trucks, 108 refrigerated trailers and 38 dry van trailers.

The decision to close the company wasn’t easy. However, Greg Mulder, COO of AMST, said declining freight volume and plunging freight rates beginning in late Q2 and lasting through Q3 forced the LTL carrier to reevaluate.

“It didn’t leave us feeling very good about 2023,” Mulder told FreightWaves. “All of our manufacturing customers that were trying to ship stuff saw their costs going up. As they saw softening in the market, they were asking for price decreases in late Q2 and Q3, but our costs stayed the same or continued to rise.”

SONAR Tickers: ROTRI.GRR and ROTRI.USA. Although the chart is for truckload, it shows how reefer tender rejection rates had bottomed out for both Grand Rapids, MI, and national markets by the end of Q2. (Chart: FreightWaves SONAR)

Art Mulder founded the trucking company in 1971, hauling cattle with a box truck. Mulder’s three sons, Hanz, Peter and Phillip, all worked for the company, along with two of Art Mulder’s grandsons, Greg and Chad Mulder. Chad Mulder became president of AMST in 2018.


Under the banner of Mulder Holdings Co., Art Mulder’s three sons also founded a freight brokerage operation, Mulder Brothers Brokerage, in 2008, specializing in the LTL market for frozen and refrigerated food. Mulder Fleet Services, which started as an in-house fleet repair shop for AMST 30 years ago, has operated as its own entity since 2020.

Co-owners AMST and The Mandich Group, a Florida-based real estate group specializing in cold storage facilities, opened a $31 million, 147,000-square-foot cold storage facility in Holland in March. 

Seamless transition

AMST’s customers have transitioned to its logistics division, working with partner carriers in the LTL space to transport refrigerated goods to various distribution centers, according to Greg Mulder.

In early 2022, the company had 46 power units and 52 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website. However, throughout the year, the company had scaled down its fleet to around 20 trucks and drivers prior to closing, Greg Mulder said.

He said many of AMST’s remaining drivers were working for other carriers in West Michigan within days of the trucking company’s layoffs in November.

The company plans to keep its U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number but remain “dormant for now,” he said. AMST isn’t ruling out a comeback — returning to an asset-based carrier — if freight conditions improve.

“Our desire was always to keep a fleet. It’s in our blood. It’s what’s got us here,” Greg Mulder said. “After 50 years of hard work and three generations working in trucking, the last thing we wanted to do was close down.”

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Joe Antoshak, senior editorial researcher for FreightWaves, contributed to this report.

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7 Comments

  1. Full Moon Trans. ID

    They wanted Biden, they got him and now when they go to the food store it hurts a lot seeing those prices and the trains full of containers heading for Europe. America that’s your food on the Trains waving at you while is being shipped off to Europe

  2. Bill Dwyer

    Thanks Joe Biden! The only problem I have is I’m too tired to count all the money. If you spent more time writing business and less time fighting unions, you’d be making as much as me.

  3. Whip McGee

    Thank you Biden!! What a great president he is!!! Shutdown those pipelines, hire a guy as head of the DOT who’s only qualification is somehow he can be a dad and a mom, (what a miracle) and make business conditions so terrible that the only people who can afford to work for peanuts are the illegal aliens pouring across the border… Add in a Department of Agriculture that can’t figure out how to keep eggs under 7 bucks a dozen, a climate change czar who has a degree in art and we have a great administration… Drivers start filling out those forms to collect welfare, that’s where the biden crowd wants you and that’s where you are all headed1

  4. Joseph Hilleary

    In December of 2022 my wife and I closed our doors thanks to Biden and his corrupt government it was no longer affordable to continue we had 19 trucks and trailers along with employees after30 years

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected]