Albany, Georgia-based Commercial Shuttle Service (CSS) ceased operations in mid-December, citing a mix of market conditions, insurance costs and aging ownership.
The company had 55 total employees, including 41 drivers, and 41 power units, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER database.
“My dad, AJ Collins, the company’s CEO, he’s in his 80s, and business had gotten tough, so he decided to shut it down,” Brett Collins, CSS’ former vice president, told FreightWaves.
Commercial Shuttle Service was a dry van carrier that worked with shippers nationwide but operated primarily in the Southeast.
The family-owned company was established in 1981, operating as a tire lumper service for Bridgestone/Firestone with one truck as Collins Brothers, according to the company’s website.
As business grew over the years, CSS’ fleet of International tractors traveled everywhere from Florida to as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as Texas.
Brett Collins said another factor in the shutdown was that CSS was in the middle of renewing its carrier insurance and decided not to.
“My dad kept the company going as long as he could,” Brett Collins said. “My mother [Melba Collins] worked at the company, too. It was a family business.”
This year has been one of the toughest in the trucking industry in more than five years. Around 10 midsize and large carriers have shut their doors in 2019, including Celadon, HVH Transportation, New England Motor Freight Inc., Falcon Transport, Stevens Tanker Division, GDS Express and LME.
Brett Collins added that many of the laid-off employees at CSS have been able to find positions at other companies, or at least interview for new jobs.
“I’ve been dialing around, calling friends, bankers, helping as much as I could,” he said. “I’ve known a lot of these people more than 20 years.”