GDS Express files for bankruptcy after abrupt pre-Christmas shutdown

GDS Express Group Inc. of Akron, Ohio, filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 27, stating that its revolving credit line was closed. The company had shuttered operations just days before Christmas.

In its filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, GDS Express Group, which owns GDS Express, “states that it has one to 49 creditors and assets and liabilities of $50,000 or less.” 

While the company filed for Chapter 11 protection, which allows struggling carriers to restructure, GDS seeks to liquidate its assets in the petition, stating no funds will be available after administrative expenses are paid.

Some employees told FreightWaves they are still working on a week-to-week basis as the company winds down business operations.

Just days before Christmas, employees were on the job working to get drivers home after news broke that the carrier was shuttering operations.

Just after the closure, former drivers and employees had no idea why the trucking company abruptly ceased operations.

The business collapsed shortly after one of GDS Express’ lenders, Northwest Bank, shut off the company’s access to its revolving credit line, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

GDS had around 75 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website. The company also offered a lease-purchase program and was recruiting owner-operators just weeks prior to the closure.

Court documents state Craig Stacy, chief executive of GDS Express, is listed as the sole owner of GDS Express Group Inc. and Nuway Logistics Group LLC.

In turn, GDS Express directly or indirectly owns each of the following debtors: GDS Express Inc., Business Transportation Services, Container Management Services LLC, G&M Towing & Recovery LLC, Nobles Inc., Better Management Corp. of Ohio Inc. and Wills Trucking Co., according to court documents.

In its filing, it states that Business Transportation Services had one to 49 creditors and lists is assets as around $50,000 and liabilities as between $1 million and $10 million.

Container Management states it has one to 49 creditors and assets and liabilities of has one to 49 creditors and assets and liabilities of $50,000 or less. 

G&M Towing and Noble Inc. both listed one to 49 creditors, assets of $50,000 and liabilities of $50,000 to $100,000.

Better Management Corp. stated it had 50 to 99 creditors, assets between zero and $50,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. Wills Trucking had one to 49 creditors, assets of zero to $50,000 and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million.

The company’s website states that GDS Express Group was formed through the merger of several companies in 2014 and served “as a platform for continued growth and expansion in the transportation industry.”

“He [Stacy] successfully transitioned GDS Express into a dynamic niche-based organization with revenues in excess of $40 million,” according to the GDS Express website.

However, former employees told FreightWaves the company’s revenues were much lower than the amount listed on the company’s website.

“Craig [Stacy] has made a career of launching startups across the country and transforming them through smart acquisitions and organic growth,” Better Management stated on its website.

GDS Express was founded by Jack Delaney, a former Roadway Express executive, in 1990. After he retired, his son J.P. Delaney and Stacy founded GDS Express Group in 2014.

This latest shutdown was announced just under two weeks after Celadon Group Inc. announced it was filing for bankruptcy. The carrier, which had more than 2,500 drivers, left some truckers stranded without fuel in the days leading up to the bankruptcy filing on Dec. 9.