Truck company closures top 2018 numbers

By  | 

This year alone more trucking firms have shut down in six months than in all of 2018, leaving thousands without jobs in the industry.

In the first half of 2019, 640 freight companies closed, which took more than 20,000 trucks off the road.

The president of Midwest Motor Express, headquartered here in Bismarck, says tariffs and expenses are to blame.

However, it's steadily growing while others are losing business.

The Midwest Motor Express Company operates 400 trucks, with 250 drivers that haul pallets and products for a variety of customers.

"MME is in the less than truckload sector. So our sector has not been hit quite as hard as others," said Marlin Kling, President of MME.

For the companies that were forced to shut down, tariffs on imported good could be to blame.

"Tariffs will play a part, but long-term there is a lot of uncertainty now which has an impact," said Kling.

Company owners such as Kling says it’s important to track financials within the business to prepare for future trends.

"You really have to keep your finger on the pulse on a day to day basis with your expenses to stay ahead of the ever changing, ever evolving trucking environment," said Kling.

As for the thousands of truckers who are misplaced from their jobs, the shortage in the industry makes it easy to find other work.

"It is fairly easy to find something in trucking right now," said Michael Roger, a truck driver.

Yet, the closing of hundreds of companies takes a toll on the enterprise and exposes obstacles truckers will have to face.

"You never want to see carriers go out of business because that means the industry itself has its challenges," said Kling.

Challenges that may cause hundreds of more companies and truckers to be out of business by the end of the year.

When major trucking firm New England Motor Freight went bankrupt, more than 3,000 employees were laid off, one of the largest layoff around the country.

In July, Lakeville Motor Express of Minnesota shut down operations without warning.

That closure affected the Fargo office, which employed 34 people.