Ohio-based GDS Express abruptly ceases operations (UPDATED)

Former employees of GDS Express of Akron, Ohio, were still on the job early Dec. 20 working on getting approximately four drivers home after news broke that the carrier was shuttering operations just days before Christmas.

A driver, who didn’t want to be named, told FreightWaves on Dec. 20 that of the four drivers still out on the road, two will make it home today and the other two drivers currently have enough fuel and money to make it home in the next day or two.

“Office and driver pay hit the banks today [Dec. 20],” the GDS driver told FreightWaves.

He said the operations staff is staying in touch with the drivers to ensure all four drivers make it home safely.

The driver said he has been told from GDS management that “payroll is being prepared for next week.”

As of press time, no one seems to know why the company abruptly shut down and stranded some drivers with fuel cards that weren’t working a week before Christmas.

Mike Cady, the company’s director of recruiting, sent the following message via drivers’ in-cab communications devices on Dec. 17, according to Truckers News

“Unfortunately, through mismanagement from ownership, GDS is closing our doors,” Cady said in the message.

Craig Stacy, chief executive of GDS Express Group, which owns GDS Express, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the closure. GDS Express of Akron, Ohio, 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. 

According to the company’s website, 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 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 of the shuttered carrier stated the company’s revenues were much lower than the amount listed on the company’s website. 

The company’s site also lists Craig as the principal and chief executive of Nuway Logistics Group, a bulk transportation company.

Besides serving as chief executive of GDS Express, Stacy also headed its parent company, GDX Capital Group, which also included BMC Bulk and Octane Logistics.

“Craig [Stacy] has made a career of launching startups across the country and transforming them through smart acquisitions and organic growth,” BMC Bulk states 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 news 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.

This is a developing story

Read more articles by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes