KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three weeks ago, LME trucking company dock worker Christian Dawson suddenly found himself without a job when the company abruptly shut down without warning, leaving dozens of area employees flat.
Now, Dawson has a child and two new jobs.
"It’s not as stressful," he said. "I know we’re going to be OK."
Dawson worked at LME's Kansas City terminal.
Earlier this month, the Roseville, Minnesota-based trucking company closed all of its 30 facilities without providing notice to employees. More than 60 employees worked at the Kansas City facility.
"LME has encountered significant operating challenges during recent times, primarily due to challenges inherent in the trucking industry," the company wrote in a statement on its website. "Given the unfortunate situation, LME had to shut down ongoing operations."
Most of the drivers who spoke with 41 Action News following the abrupt closure have been lucky enough to find new jobs.
"The demand for qualified drivers gets greater every week," said Jeffrey Steinberg, who is the director of APEX CDL Institute of Kansas City.
Although the demand is there, Steinberg said some trucking companies are still closing.
LME wasn't the only trucking company to suddenly close in 2019.
Falcon Transport, based in Youngstown, Ohio, abruptly stopped its operations in late April. A month later, Alabama-based Williams Trucking suddenly closed its doors and Indiana-based ALA Trucking Inc. closed in June.
"There’s a lot of regulation; there’s a lot of moving parts of truck issues and employment issues," Steinberg said.
He noted that increased regulation and new emissions policies have hurt some companies.
"(With) electronic logs, drivers can’t make up their log book hours," he said. "Emission stuff is really hurting this industry. It’s making trucks more expensive. It’s making it harder for drivers to get their jobs done, because they break down more frequently and they are notoriously unreliable. It’s an unperfected science."