Land Air Express closed by FMCSA

The U.S. government closed one of the largest trucking companies in New England over the New Year’s holiday, but has not released details on why the carrier was shut down.

Federal regulators ordered Land Air Express of New England to stop service Dec. 29, and the regional less-than-truckload carrier remained closed Jan. 4. The company’s president said he is waiting for a green light from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to reopen.

Land Air Express may be the largest trucking company to be placed out of service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The carrier had $83 million in revenue in 2014, according to SJ Consulting Group, and ranked 44th on the list of the 50 largest North American LTL carriers published by JOC.com and the transportation research firm. The carrier operates more than 300 trucks and has more than 700 employees.

Carriers placed out of service for failing to comply with driver or equipment safety regulations historically have been much smaller firms, such as Garfield Trucking, a three-truck operator in Ohio ordered out of service in November for multiple safety violations.

Spencer said his company is working closely with customers and its carrier partners to weather the shutdown, which resulted from an FMCSA audit conducted earlier last year. He said the carrier, working with a third-party, had addressed the concerns raised in the audit.

Spencer declined to discuss details of the audit. “We’re waiting to hear from (the FMCSA),” he said. JOC.com has requested more information on the investigation and a copy of the out-of-service order from the FMCSA.

The shutdown is likely to have ramifications beyond the Northeast. Land Air Express is part of the Reliance Network of LTL carriers, which includes Pitt Ohio, Averitt Express, and several other regional LTL carriers throughout North America.