Reefer Carrier Calls it Quits After 69 Years Blaming Insurance Costs and ELD Mandate
Nashville, TN – Citing rising insurance costs and the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate, a Nashville, TN-based refrigerated carrier has called it quits after 69 years.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has confirmed Howard Baer, Inc. ceased operations on January 31, 2020, and intends to completely wind down its business in the coming weeks.
The news, first reported by Freightwaves, indicates owner Greg Baer cited his family’s unwillingness to continue operating a trucking business because “it’s just not worth running anymore.”
According to the report, Baer says the privately-held company was still profitable, but his fleet had retracted from nearly 200 drivers in 2017 to around 35 by 2020.
He blamed an exodus of his best drivers on the implementation of the ELD mandate.
“My drivers said, ‘We are older and tired and just want to retire instead of dealing with ELDs,’” he said. “I couldn’t blame them.”
Also, according to the report, he lamented skyrocketing insurance costs which is plaguing large swaths of the industry, as well as the increased cost of accident litigation.
“Trucking just isn’t worth it anymore,” Baer told Freightwaves.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in the prior 24 months the carrier suffered a higher than average vehicle inspection out-of-service (OOS) rate at 28.9%.
Out of 90 vehicle inspections reported during that period, 26 resulted in OOS designations.
RECENT CLOSURE NEWS
Further, a total of 168 driver inspections were reported and 11 were placed OOS which is slightly above the industry average.
The company also reported 16 accidents including one fatal crash.
According to its website, Howard Baer operated in 30 states and provided “direct store delivery transportation services to companies that require dedicated, perishable commodity movements.”
The company was founded in 1951.
It’s the second major closure of a refrigerated carrier so far in 2020.
Earlier this month, 350-truck Florida-based Cold Carrier Logistics (CCL) announced it intends to shutter its operations by the end of February.
CCL began notifying its more than 400 employees of the impending closure after a last ditch effort to sell the company before a bankruptcy-court imposed deadline of January 16, 2020, fell short.
CCL, owned by private equity firm KJM, includes: Salt Lake City, UT-based Interide Transport (88 drivers); Lexington, SC-based Gantt Trucking (102 drivers); and Lakeland, FL-based Sunco Trucking (159 drivers).
Photo courtesy of Howard Baer
WANT MORE? GET MORE!
Get more recent trucking closure news HERE.