LTL Trucking Disruptions

LTL Trucking Disruptions May Increase Costs And Cause More Supply Line Disruptions

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  • Post last modified:July 30, 2023
  • Post comments:2 Comments
  • Reading time:9 mins read
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In this article, I will show the potential of LTL Trucking Disruptions (supply line disruption) and further price increases that preppers should be made aware of due to the possible (likely) event that one of the largest local trucking companies will fold.

I want to make it clear this is an opinion piece. I am not a logistics expert. I’m a blogger and have been working as a driver in the trucking industry for several decades, the last 24 years as an LTL (local) truck driver.

For those that need to be made aware, YRC (Yellow and Roadway trucking companies), along with Holland and a couple of smaller companies, are facing bankruptcy.

LTL Trucking Disruptions – Background

LTL (Less than truckload/local delivery), and the trucking industry, in general, have been facing crises over crises for years.

YRC began with one of the largest LTL trucking companies (Yellow) buying out an even larger one (Roadway) when they probably weren’t as strong financially as needed to pull it off. They also bought Holland Trucking at about the same time.

Now they have a few weeks to come up with $50 million, ordered by the court. The company ceased regular operations on Friday and has already laid off some employees.

“We regret to inform you that your employment with Yellow Corporation, or one of its subsidiaries, (collectively referred to as the ‘Company’) will permanently terminate on July 28, 2023, or within 14 days after (the ‘Separation Date’). The Company is shutting down its regular operations on July 28, 2023, closing and/or laying off employees at all of its locations, including yours (the ‘Shut Down’).”

From A Memo sent to employees

As a driver for one of their competitors, I’ve talked with several drivers who believe they’re out of a job. We had almost forty job applications by early last week from YRC and Holland drivers at our terminal alone.

“the likelihood that Yellow will survive is increasingly bleak. Yellow continues to clear its system, and it appears to be laying off personnel and closing entire terminals across the country. All Yellow employees should, in our opinion, prepare for the worst, as Yellow appears to be headed to a complete shutdown within the next few days.”

John Murphy — Teamsters National Freight director

The biggest sign for me is that they only deliver freight already in their network (according to many sources), often requiring payment at delivery time (according to one source).

They aren’t picking up freight. Even if they were, shippers (companies) would be reluctant to get their product stuck in the system, potentially unable to get it back once the trucking company folds.

No freight means no income for the trucking company. Unless there’s some bailout or buyout, they will likely go bankrupt and possibly fold.

YRC is one of the largest local trucking companies in America, and it will take time for the others to absorb the demand caused by tens of thousands of drivers and countless shipments left hanging. Many trucking companies are already running beyond capacity.

The Scope Of The Potential LTL Trucking Disruptions

I’m unsure how this will play out, but it will likely create more disruptions and high costs. To give you an idea of the scope, we haul everything you could imagine, from manufacturing parts & products to toys, food, to chemicals.


Truck Cargo Freight

Wherever you are right now, look around. Every single product you see was moved by truck multiple times. For example, a lamp in your living room was delivered by truck. The paint or coating was. The chemicals and ingredients for the coating and ceramic were. The raw metal within the wiring was. The wires and plastic were. Each component is moved by truck. Now add in the boxes and shipping materials. The ink and printing that goes on the boxes. The labels and paper. You get the idea. This is true for every item you see.

YRC has been considered the discount trucking service by most shippers: mediocre service, at best, but a cheaper shipping solution. Other large trucking companies charge a higher premium for a better service. They’re unlikely to walk away from that practice to scoop up discounted freight to have the same financial issues helping cause this for YRC.

This Is NOT A SHTF Event

This is a large company, but it is not the entire trucking industry. It’s not as if the entire trucking industry stopped rolling for a strike or anything like that. I should also point out that much of the ‘delivering a lamp‘ scenario I laid out above is, unfortunately, done outside of the United States.

I don’t want to cause alarm, but we can see the writing on the walls. As preppers, it may be an excellent time to take stock of our preps and act accordingly.

My Final Thoughts – Stop Stopping

Personally, I’ve been slow to build (and sometimes replace) certain foods, such as canned meats and other food preps, due to the higher cost right now. I’ve had it in my head that prices will eventually drop, and now isn’t the time to build as fast as before.

Now, I have a different mindset. It may be time to eat the additional cost. If it worsens, we will have saved. We pay more if it gets better and prices drop, but the preps remain.

As a driver, consider this more a boots-on-the-ground report and do with it what you will. I believe we will see LTL trucking disruptions and higher costs from it, but I don’t know how severe it might be. It could just be a tiny blip on the screen or maybe something that could domino into a bigger problem. I just feel it is my responsibility to share my thoughts at this point.

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Stay safe. Stay prepared.
Hawkins out!

LTL Trucking Disruptions May Increase Costs And Cause More Supply Line Disruptions

Brian Hawkins

Father, grandfather, Veteran, animal lover, law-abiding taxpayer, homeowner, trucker, and a United States Citizen. Oh, and I'm also a prepper, survivalist, responsible gun owner, and hiker.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mic Roland

    Hey Brian,
    I guess the question is whether the LTL industry has enough capacity to absorb Yellow’s volume of business.

    1. Brian Hawkins

      I guess time will tell Mic. I’m confident that it will smooth out over time. Things seem to be prone to go sideways of late. It will work itself out eventually. I hate to say it, but it might help in a way. We’ve been dealing with driver and worker shortages just like most businesses. This will likely help fill the gap if the gurus can figure out how to expand operations quickly enough. Oh, supervisors aren’t in shortage. We have lots of those. 😉

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