Canadian carriers court drivers from bankrupt Celadon’s Hyndman Transport

As news of Celadon’s coming bankruptcy spread over the weekend, the leadership of Canadian trucking company C.A.T. took little pleasure from the demise of its competitor — even as it stood to gain drivers and freight.

“We don’t like to see other trucking companies go out of business,” President Daniel Goyette said during a meeting with his senior management.

Quebec-based C.A.T. and fellow Canadian carriers moved quickly after Celadon’s Canadian subsidiary Hyndman Transport shut down on Dec. 9 as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

While Canadian carriers frequently complain about the struggle to find qualified drivers, there was a sense of a collective purpose in getting Hydnman’s newly unemployed truckers back in service ahead of the holidays.

“We’re in a very aggressive industry. We fight down to the penny. But now, the industry is coming together,” said C.A.T. Vice President Marc Blanchette.

C.A.T. hopes to fill trucks and add owner-operators to its Canada- and U.S.-based fleets, which each number about 300 trucks. The carrier has already hired Hyndman’s former Quebec operations manager and hopes to bring on the 40 drivers the manager oversaw.

The carrier is also recruiting former Celadon drivers to fill trucks from its U.S. base in Charlotte, North Carolina.

C.A.T. has a steady business focusing on auto parts transport and doing line hauls for e-commerce. Most of the freight is stable and contracted, something Hyndman drivers may appreciate.

“The drivers should call us,” Blanchette said. “We’ll definitely find a fit where we can. Our goal is to bring on a driver and have them stay on for 20, 30 years.”

Hyndman had an estimated 300 to 400 trucks at the time of closure, handling domestic Canadian and cross-border freight, much of it contracted. The founding of the Ontario trucking stalwart preceded Celadon’s acquisition by nearly 80 years.

“I’m not celebrating. A handful of people messed up a legacy,” said Ted Daniel, CEO of Titanium Transportation Group, based in Bolton, Ontario, referring to Celadon management. “My heart goes out to the drivers. It’s painful to see the suffering.”

Titanium, with a fleet of about 600 trucks, also has actively recruited Hyndman drivers, even dispatching staff to the former terminals.

“We could easily absorb 30 to 40 drivers,” Daniel said.

He said Titanium has plenty of freight for the new drivers to take on. Drivers can also take comfort in working for a carrier with a strong balance sheet and a team well-prepared for economic headwinds in 2020.

“My guys are preparing for war – in terms of next year’s economy,” Daniel said.

Drivers interested in working for C.A.T. can visit or call 800-363-05313 ext. 6382. Perspective Titanium drivers can visit Drivers can also visit the FreightWaves job board.