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Northern California-based union carrier to cease operations after 48 years (with video)

After 48 years in business, Frank Ghiglione, 82, the primary owner of Rodgers Trucking, has decided to close shop and retire, citing the main reason behind his decision is “the ever-increasing cost of doing business in California.”

Photo: Rodgers Trucking

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Roughly 130 unionized drivers for Rodgers Trucking Company of San Leandro, California, will be looking for new jobs after the company announced it will cease operations after 48 years in late April.

Rodgers Trucking, which hauls dry freight, including wine and spirits, beverages, and food ingredients, filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice with the state in late January. The notice stated the carrier, founded in 1972, will shutter operations by April 30.

Alan Osofsky, safety and compliance manager of Rodgers Trucking, told FreightWaves on Thursday that the high cost of doing business in California, as well as the financial challenges of being a union carrier vying for loads against low-cost nonunion companies, was difficult.

“Smaller freight companies are having to contend with higher costs of new regulations and potential increases in insurance costs for this year,” Osofsky told FreightWaves. “We are doing everything to assist them in finding new jobs.”

According to the carrier’s WARN Act notice, Frank Ghiglione, owner of Rodgers Trucking, stated that one of its major customers, Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits (SGWS), will now provide most of its own transportation services. He said that Rodgers drivers “will have the opportunity to submit applications” to work for SGWS.

Around 30 drivers plan to retire once the company shuts down, Osofsky said.

This is the second carrier this week to announce plans to shutter operations after Tennessee-based Howard Baer Inc. ceased operations after 69 years. In both cases, the trucking company owners decided to shut down and retire. 

Read more articles from FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes


  1. Dego

    elds are not to blame.Its guys who would would work for near nothing but run their ass off 20 hrs a day via paper logs,now that everybody is on the same page and can run only 11hrs that low cpm does not work.we are in demand now but nobody wants to pay a driver for what he’s worth,let alone all the free time we give them without compensation.has nothing to do with elds,actually it protects you making you legal at all times.lesson here is don’t work for nothing.

  2. Bigdee

    It’s crazy that in the past 2 years that more trucking companies have closed more ever in the history of this country I hate to beat a dead horse but elds messed trucking up instead of easing technology into the industry they forced it so the next time they say elds is making the industry safer remember this stat if companies are closing down then there are less trucks on the road which means less drivers which means less miles travel which means less accidents so in that sarcastically it is making the road safer good luck to every truck driver that’s sufferers because of the U.S. government regulations

    1. Brian K

      How are ELD’s the problem ???? If it’s still 14 hrs you can work in a day(16 hrs for some) & 11 hrs a day you can drive & it was the same rules when you had paper logs ???? Is it because there’s no law breaking now …..

      1. John B

        You are correct Brian. I’m not sure why people are blaming ELD’s for all the mess going on in trucking industry right now. The majority of companies closing down were already using ELD’s for extended time, even before ELD’s became a mandate and they were doing fine financially. Most of them are using Qualcomm. I trained with Stevens Transport about 5 years ago. When I joined Stevens Transport, they were using Qualcomm at least 5 year before I went there. There was some kind of profit sharing when I joined the company from the company making profit. As we are talking now, Stevens Transport is struggling and they are already downsizing. How does ELD plays a role in Stevens Transport situation while they were doing fine financially in the past and they were using ELD. I totally understand when owner operators or very small trucking company with 10 or 20 trucks complains but I don’t understand when big companies complain about ELD. All companies that are closing are big companies. They need to be honest and not mislead the society. Surging freight capacities and prices with increased in operation costs including fuel cost, high tolls, parts and repairs, skyrocketing insurance cost is to be blamed. Prices for moving most of the loads right now are ranging 30%-40% below the prices of moving the same loads 2-3 years ago at the same time operation costs are going higher and higher. What do you expect in such a business trend?

        1. Scott S.

          I feel like the ever growing stringent DOT laws and EPA mandations on emissions and fuel economy are causing a huge issue in the trucking industry. Basically your set has to be perfect to go down the road without DOT Violations. Even with brand new trucks and trailers they’ll still give you violations like air lines chaffing when it’s just frame paint from the factory. DOT Inspectors get crazy now days handing out tickets and out of service violations for things like a single light being out. The aftreatment systems required on the trucks is high maintenance and very expensive to keep maintained and repair. Also now there is DEF an intire additional system that now requires it’s own maintenance and repairs. The more laws that come into play are continually driving the cost per mile to run a truck so high that companies are having a hard time making a profit. If you take your truck to the dealer for after treatment issues you won’t get out there with under a 5K invoice. It’s turning into survival of the fittest for trucking companies.

          1. Jason Miller

            If you look at the failure data the Broughton Capital releases, there is no evidence that failures are unduly up now that ELDs are in place. 2018 saw a very small number of failures. Failures are up in 2019 because spot rates are much lower than 2018, which has in turn, driven down contract rates by a modest degree (just check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index for Long-Distance, Truckload Freight or the Cass TL Linehaul Index). Blaming ELDs misses the big picture that it is the underlying economic fundamentals that affect failure. I can’t think of anything more capitalistic than that.

      2. Dg

        I will tell u how if ur 2 hours in and need a nap or to wipe your ass and it doesn’t line up doesn’t matter the numbers equal the same at the end of the day you cannot stop the clock it is absolutely unsafe and the numbers prove it. Ur adults. Y’all know if u need a break u need a break. U dont need a computer telling sleepy drivers to drive when their tired because they can’t just go on and off the clock when necessary w/o fucking up the entire dot log it is ridiculous. Do u want me to go on. Are u that ignorant

        1. Jason Miller

          100% agree. This is why the FMCSA needs to move rapidly to giving drivers flexibility in their HOS rules (e.g., stopping the clock for up to three hours). Drivers know their bodies better than any computer system ever will. The challenge with providing such flexibility was that, pre-ELD, allowing for a three-hour clock pause would have just invited some folks to drive a couple of more hours beyond the 11-hour limit. With ELDs, there is the possibility for more flexible HOS without as much concern of drivers not reporting hours on duty honestly.

    2. Gary

      ELDs are not the Priblem.The problem is the dramatic rise in Insurance Cost and In this Case The State of California basically cutting its own throat!!

    3. Bill

      It’s not the eld’s, it’s the 14 hour and 8 hour limit’s. These time bubble’s don’t work with trucking. These DOT nerds don’t get it yet. They don’t make trucking safer, they make it more dangerous and limit our ability to make a living.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 16 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected] or @cage_writer on X, formerly Twitter.