500 Truck Carrier Quietly Closes After 35 Years in Business Due to Pandemic
Wayne, MI – After more than 35 years in business, Rush Trucking quietly wound down operations in December of last year.
The Wayne, MI-based carrier was the largest woman and Native American-owned freight transportation company in North America.
Founded by Andra Rush, a Mohawk Native American, in 1984, Rush Trucking became an industry leader providing transportation services to the automotive and manufacturing industries.
Rush had 12 nationwide locations and more than 500 company drivers and 170 owner operators during its peak years in operation.
The trucking firm had struggled in recent years before succumbing to the devastation many automotive companies felt in 2020 brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email to Crain’s Detroit, Ms. Rush explained what led to the closure.
“With COVID-19’s impact and the continual driver shortage, it became even clearer that the automotive focused segment of the trucking industry required consolidation,” she said. “I collaborated with major customers to ensure a smooth transition of the … business to new providers occurred while maintaining the quality of service, and ensuring continued employment opportunities existed for our employees.”
One of those carriers that picked up a portion of Rush’s customer base and assets is Lavalle Transportation Inc. (LTI), based in Potsdam, NY.
Randy LaValley, president of LTI, confirmed to Transportation Nation Network (TNN) more of the details on Monday.
LTI soaked up a significant portion of Rush’s hauling contracts with Ford Motor Co. while K.C. Logistics based in Carleton, MI picked up Rush’s contracts with Toyota.
A call to K.C. on Monday afternoon has not yet been returned.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Rush Trucking last reported 354 power units and 374 drivers.
The automotive hauler also reported 13 tow away crashes with three of them fatal in the prior 24 months.
Many within the trucking industry know Rush’s inspirational story well.
Ms. Rush borrowed $5,000 from her parents, while investing $3,000 of her own savings and using personal credit cards to begin the company with one van and two pickups.
She even worked full-time as a nurse for years while managing the trucking business.
Photo courtesy of Rush Trucking/Facebook