An essential backbone of the global economy, more and more trucking companies are going out of business. Challenges such as fuel price changes, regulations, labor shortages, and economic downturns can harm the industry’s stability and financial health. 

Bankruptcy law can help trucking companies survive in these difficult times. Speak with a trusted bankruptcy attorney today.

Troubles Facing the Trucking Industry

Fluctuating Fuel Prices

Fuel costs are a big expense for trucking companies. Volatility in oil prices can greatly impact their bottom line. Expensive fuel can make it difficult for companies, especially small ones, to make money and stay afloat.

Stringent Regulations

Trucking companies must follow many complex state and federal regulations, from vehicle pollution to how long drivers can work. Compliance with these regulations can be costly and time-consuming. 

For example, the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate, which requires drivers to electronically record their driving hours, has imposed additional financial burdens on many operators.

Labor Shortages

The industry is currently facing a significant driver shortage. This is magnified by an aging workforce and the challenge of attracting younger drivers. This shortage can lead to increased wages and benefits costs, further straining the financial resources of trucking companies.

Economic Downturns

Recessions can lead to decreased demand for freight services, as businesses reduce production and consumers cut back on spending. Such downturns can be devastating for trucking companies, particularly those heavily reliant on industries sensitive to economic cycles, like manufacturing and retail.

Rising Insurance Costs

Trucking companies naturally face high insurance premiums because of the inherent risks associated with transporting goods over long distances. These costs have been steadily increasing, partly due to the rise in litigation and settlement amounts against trucking companies involved in accidents.

Maintenance and Equipment Costs

The cost of maintaining and updating trucks and equipment can be substantial. As technology advances, older vehicles may become obsolete or require expensive upgrades to remain compliant with regulatory standards.

Why You Should Consider Declaring Bankruptcy

Many people often view bankruptcy as a last resort, but it can provide a lifeline for trucking companies facing hard times. By filing for bankruptcy, a company can restructure its debts, reduce its obligations, and emerge as a more competitive and financially stable entity.

Here are 5 benefits of filing for bankruptcy for your trucking company.

Automatic Stay

Upon filing for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is immediately enacted. This halts all collection activities, including lawsuits, repossessions, and foreclosures. This reprieve can provide trucking companies with the breathing room needed to reorganize without the constant pressure from creditors.

Debt Restructuring

Bankruptcy allows for the restructuring of debts. For example, under Chapter 11, a trucking company can propose a reorganization plan for renegotiating terms with creditors, downsizing operations to reduce costs, or liquidating assets to pay off debts. This process enables the company to realign its financial obligations with its current capacity to pay.

Discharge of Unsecured Debts

Bankruptcy can lead to the discharge of certain unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, unsecured business loans, and some judgments. Eliminating these obligations can significantly reduce the overall debt burden, freeing up resources for essential expenses like fuel, maintenance, and payroll.

Contract and Lease Modifications

Chapter 11 bankruptcy offers the opportunity to reject or modify existing contracts and leases that are no longer favorable or sustainable. This can be particularly useful for renegotiating lease terms on vehicles or equipment, potentially leading to lower monthly payments.

Fresh Start

Successfully emerging from bankruptcy can provide a trucking company with a fresh start. With a more manageable debt load and streamlined operation, the company can focus on profitability and long-term sustainability without the weight of past financial missteps.

Navigating Bankruptcy in the Trucking Industry

The decision to file for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. It involves careful consideration of the company’s financial situation, future prospects, and the potential impact on employees, customers, and business relationships. 

If your trucking company is at risk of going out of business, Lakelaw can help.

With over 50 years of experience in bankruptcy law, David P. Leibowitz is nationally recognized for excellence by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, Lawdragon, and more. David has also represented numerous trucking companies and assisted them with cost reduction, reorganization, and asset liquidation.