Carrier Abruptly Ceases Operations, Shuts Off Fuel Cards Leaving Drivers Stranded
Akron, OH – Akron, OH-based GDS Express Inc. has abruptly closed its doors and shut off fuel cards leaving dozens of drivers stranded the week before Christmas.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has confirmed with multiple sources with direct knowledge that the company notified office personnel as well as drivers of the company’s demise on Tuesday.
As of Thursday, the company’s Google listing has now been changed to reflect the closure.
TNN is in communication with multiple former GDS drivers who report fuel cards have been deactivated.
A message was sent to drivers via in-cab communications from Mike Cady, Director of Recruiting, which reads:
It is with HEAVY heart, fighting anger and tears that I send this message. Unfortunately, through mismanagement from ownership, GDS is closing our doors. I want to sincerely THANK each and everyone (sic) of you who have been part of our “family”. Over the years WE accomplished a lot! We are proud to be GDS, I bled Blue and Orange. … Moving forward if anyone needs help of a reference, PLEASE contact me.
It is unclear at this time how many drivers are stranded away from home and if/when these drivers will receive any additional assistance.
Scherrie Ward has been a driver with GDS for 21 years.
During her time with the company she purchased two trucks and has spent the last two years as a company driver.
“I should have known it,” she said to TNN.
Ward was in Missouri and headed to Michigan to deliver a load when she received word Monday evening the company was likely closing its doors.
“I didn’t cry until the middle of the night when it hit me that I had no job,” she said.
However, after speaking with a company representative Tuesday morning, she chose to fill her truck and drive straight to the Akron terminal.
Other GDS drivers were not as fortunate she says.
“I know drivers who had to buy fuel from their own pocket.”
Ward says the company owes her approximately $3,000 in wages from the previous two weeks, but isn’t hopeful she will ever receive it.
“They are out of money,” she said.
TNN is continuing to gather new information and will update you as soon as possible.
GDS EXPRESS UPDATE
According to its website, GDS operated in 48 states hauling general freight and garment-on-hangers service in both the U.S. and Mexico.
The company was founded in 1990 by Jack Delaney.
Two years later, Jack’s son, J.P. Delaney, joined the effort.
In 2014, he and CEO Craig Stacy formed GDS Express Group.
Through its efforts, GDS says it began offering a “more diverse range of services including dry van, logistics and bulk service.”
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), GDS employed 75 drivers and operated 75 power units.
The company says it had as many as 75 additional owner operators at one time.
Among GDS’ most notable customers were T.J.Maxx, Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Mattel.
RECENT CLOSURE NEWS
Help For Stranded Drivers
Fresh off the sudden closure of Celadon Trucking, Bridgette Reinsmith, founder of CELADON CLOSURE ASSISTANCE GROUP and President of Teddy’s Trucker’s Association, tells TNN the group is going to work for disaffected GDS drivers.
“We will attempt to help the displaced GDS Express drivers in the same way we have the Celadon drivers,” Reinsmith said.
The group says it will connect drivers with resources for transportation, employment and basic needs including food during this transition period.
As was the case during the days following the Celadon closure, trucking companies are already offering assistance to former GDS drivers.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for the latest developments on this story.