A Logan, Utah-based trucking company, L.W. Miller Cos., notified customers and drivers earlier this week that it will shut down its livestock hauling division on Monday. Its other four divisions will continue to operate.
According to a letter sent to customers and obtained by FreightWaves, Rex Miller, CEO of L.W. Miller Cos., called “the driver shortage, rising costs, extremely tight margins and freight rates” the perfect storm that forced the company to shutter one of the largest livestock hauling operations in the U.S.
“After 37 years in business, the business of transporting animals is no longer sustainable for the L.W. Miller organization,” Miller wrote. “This decision is certainly NOT a reflection of the current management team of the Livestock Division.”
Paul Barnard, human resources manager at L.W. Miller, declined FreightWaves’ request to comment on how many livestock haulers, including company drivers and owner-operators, would be affected by the decision.
“After consulting with senior management, we feel that between the letter we sent to our customers and the personal communications that we have had with our drivers, we really have nothing more to say about the closure of the livestock division,” Barnard told FreightWaves.
Family-owned L.W. Transportation has around 87 drivers and 85 power units, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.
Over the past few months, the livestock division had been ramping up efforts to recruit both company drivers and owner-operators but its efforts ultimately failed.
The company’s dry bulk/pneumatic, liquid tanker, refrigerated and petroleum divisions will continue to operate, Miller said.
“The rest of L.W. Miller Companies continues to thrive and succeed and we are excited and encouraged by the results we are seeing from the other divisions,” Miller wrote. “We are grateful to our livestock customers who helped us to have success in a very tough business environment.”
Larry Miller, who founded L.W. Miller Transportation Inc. in 1982, died in December 2020.