Penske Logistics filed a WARN Act notice in Michigan on Monday, February 24th alerting the state and its employees that due to the loss of a contract it would be forced to lay off 120 employees, closing a facility in Coldwater, MI.
Penske Logistics has 3,612 trucks and over 5,000 drivers according to the FMCSA. Many of the workers affected are operations and warehouse staff at this location. The good news is workers cut only represent roughly .6% of Penske’s total workforce of over 18,000. It is unknown how many drivers, if any are impacted by these cuts.
The funny thing about these contracts is that while they are pulled from one carrier, they are more often then not, given to another one. That new contract usually leads to the need for increased staffing, new hires and new opportunity, oftentimes for those who were laid off from the previous company.
The good news is that very day 277 applications were received by the FMCSA filed by those looking to start their own trucking companies. More than doubling the amount of workers laid off at this one location. Since then, an additional 663 applications were received by the FMCSA showing that although some carriers are forced to layoff employees as contracts are lost, there is an ever increasing amount of people looking to get into the industry. 7 new trucking companies for every one employee laid off in the above example.
To top off the bad news regarding the layoffs, here is more good news. The national average diesel price is down under $3 per gallon for the third week in a row with the national average at $2.88 per gallon.
DAT is predicting Spring is coming early to truckload freight as it pertains to rates and volumes as load counts are holding steady and load-to-truck ratios are starting to show signs of life for vans, reefers and flatbeds. Rates are starting to trend up.