Jevic suspends operations

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Jevic Transportation Inc. will be discontinuing operations, President and Chief Executive Officer David Gorman announced Monday, May 19, via a letter posted on the company’s website. “The current high fuel costs, economic downturn, increasing insurance costs and tightening credit markets have made this decision necessary.” Gorman wrote. “Jevic will stop providing pickup service effective Monday 5/19/08. However, we will continue operating to deliver all freight within our system prior to closing.”

Jevic — a hybrid truckload and less-than-truckload provider with 1,185 power units and 1,230 drivers — stopped accepting pickup requests after Friday, May 16, and the company’s Web and EDI pickup functions were disabled. “We will continue to provide customer service through the wind-down period at 888-Go-Jevic.” Gorman wrote. “We ask that you please utilize the automated voice response system as much as possible, as the number of calls is expected to be high and there will be longer hold times. The Jevic website will remain active and will be updated during the period as well, and that should be your primary point of contact for tracing and needed documentation.”

Jevic, based in Delanco, N.J., was founded in 1981 and grew during the ’80s and early ’90s. At one time it had facilities in Delanco, Chicago, New England, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C. The company was known for its “Breakbulk-Free” operating model that handled freight less than conventional carriers, with the intent of lowering lost and damaged shipments while still delivering to the entire 48 states.

Jevic said it was the first nationwide LTL carrier to offer what since has become a standard offering in the industry — time-definite and day-definite services, branded “100% Guaranteed,” which provided expedited delivery. They also offered the Jevic “Heat Fleet,” the largest fleet of heated trailers in the United States, used to protect freezable freight en route to destination in cold winter months.

Jevic was sold in June 2006 by SCS Transportation in a $40 million cash sale to Sun Capital Partners. Bert Trucksess, then chairman and chief executive officer of publicly traded SCS — which rebranded itself as Saia after its more successful LTL subsidiary — said Jevic had not achieved acceptable levels of profitability for several years and was not core to the long-term goals of the company.

Since going private, Jevic said it worked diligently to bring the company back to strong profitability. In April, Jevic aggressively realigned the organization to improve costs and improve efficiencies; the realignment was going as planned, and freight delivery costs were improving, according to the company.

“Sadly, escalating fuel costs, higher insurance costs, a slowing economy and ultimately a tightening of the credit market were to much for us to overcome,” said Pete Robinson, director of marketing and corporate communications. With this action, about 1,500 employees no longer are employed, Robinson said. “It’s a sad day for everyone here in Delanco and around the country,” he said.