Major trucking company closes weeks before Christmas

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WJW/AP) — An Indiana trucking company with nearly 4,000 employees says it filed for bankruptcy and will shut down all operations, just days after two former officials were charged in a fraud scheme.

Celadon Group says it faced significant costs related to a federal investigation and also must deal with debt and “enormous challenges” in the industry.

Celadon said it was the largest provider of international truckload services in North America.

Earlier this year, Celadon agreed to pay $42 million to settle securities fraud allegations stemming from falsely reporting profits and assets.

According to WXIN in Indianapolis, the move takes 3,000 trucks off the roads.

“Merry Christmas! Now go find a job,” Marcus Dooley, truck driver, told WXIN while standing outside the chain-locked doors at Celadon’s Indianapolis facility.

“The people who caused all this, I hope there’s a special place in hell for them because they deserve it,” Alfred Bertschy, a truck driver who also lost his job, said. “The general public probably doesn’t understand how big this really is. This is huge.”

John Paugh, CEO of Carter Logistics in Anderson, Indiana, told WXIN, his company has been asked to take on a bigger load by some companies.

“It’s one of the worst times of the year because it’s Christmas, and there’s already a rush for shipping,” Paugh said. “So to have a carrier that large go out is really going to affect the market.”

Paugh said shipping costs could go up 10% in the Midwest because of Celadon shutting down.

Many of Celadon’s drivers were stranded when the company went out of business. Paugh told WXIN his company is helping many of them get home. He also said his company is hiring and offering Celadon drivers a signing bonus for two weeks to cover the lost wages between jobs.

Freightway Transportation Services, LLC in Canton is affiliated with Celadon.

In a post on Facebook early Monday, the company wrote:

“We here at Freightway wanted to let everyone affected by this know we are thinking of them in this difficult time. Thousands of people were effected [sic] by this. We are committed to helping and are committed to our drivers and staff. Please reach out. Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers.”

In a statement to FOX 8, Freightway Transportation says everyone is feeling the impact.

“We have all been impacted at some level. We at Freightway are committed to our staff, and our drivers. We are currently working with Rush Trucking another transportation company in helping place as many drivers as possible. We are restructuring and adapting so that we can offer Sustainable growth for our drivers & staff. We just want everyone affected by this to know they are in our thoughts and our prayers.”

Freightway tells FOX 8 any driver who need assistance with job placement can call 1-888-595-7864 or apply here at Rush Trucking.

In May of 2018, Freightway Transportation gave away 40,000 pounds of cucumbers after a shipping mishap caused the company that was supposed to take them to refuse the shipment.

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