Drivers, shippers scrambling following trucking company closure

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Truckers in KELOLAND are filling out job applications while businesses are scrambling to find a new way to move their product. This comes after the trucking company, LME abruptly ceased operations in Sioux Falls, and throughout the Midwest.

The closing of LME caught many of its shipping clients by surprise.

“They’ve been a carrier that we’ve used for the last few years and we had no signs that anything was coming down that they’d be shutting down or anything. I mean operation was normal until we found out this morning that they ceased operations,” The Junction LLC Operation Manager, Jentry Schram said.

Freight still sits on loading docks, with nowhere to go. Omaha-based freight company The Junction has 2,300 pounds of animal feed stranded in Sioux Falls that needs to get to North Dakota.

“So now we have something just sitting there that kind of counts against their inventory and we don’t know what’s going to happen to that product or what we need to do going forward,” Schram said.

John Petersen drove for LME for nine years. He’s spent the day applying at other companies.

“Knocking on doors, filling out applications, applying for unemployment. We’re supposed to get paid today. Probably won’t get paid. They owe us for three weeks, we probably aren’t going to see any of that,” Petersen said.

Petersen expected to retire with LME. He says it was a good company to work for because of the pay and flexible schedule. But LME’s closing has put the brakes on the careers of Petersen and his co-workers.

“There’s 33 people without a job now in Sioux Falls and we had a very good group of people between the office and the dock workers and us drivers and now none of us have a job,” Petersen said.

LME isn’t giving a reason for closing. The company did file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy back in 2017 when it was known as Lakeville Motor Express.

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