Atkinson Freight Lines shutting down due to market conditions, including low rates, high fuel and toll bridge costs, CEO says

GRAIN VALLEY, Missouri , February 23, 2012 () – In the past few months, several trucking companies have announced they are closing their doors.

On Friday, Feb. 17, a family-owned fourth-generation trucking company, Atkinson Freight Lines of Bensalem, PA, ceased operation after 127 years.

Stunned drivers were told to clean out their trucks on Friday. They had received a letter from Joseph B. Atkinson III, chairman and chief executive officer, a few days earlier warning them that “we are near the end of the road.”

In the letter, Atkinson stated that “things have really changed” in the past five years.

“At $4 per gallon for fuel, insane toll bridge costs and low rates, the market is forcing these actions; it’s killing trucking, it’s killing me. It’s not fun.”

“The American truck driver no longer has the respect from the market, and that is sad,” the letter stated.

A meeting with drivers is scheduled for Feb. 26 to discuss their pension plan.

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