Celadon Ends Trucking Schools to Cut Costs
Celadon recently announced that it would be getting out of the business of training truck drivers at company-owned facilities, according to management.
The carrier once operated three trucking schools, a move they undertook to combat the continued driver shortage. This issue is felt by carriers of all sizes throughout the country, and Celadon wasn’t the first company to start their own school in hopes of filling their roster with qualified talent.
Unfortunately for the carrier, their financial situation makes it difficult for them to continue with this plan. The carrier is calling it quits on trucker education, at least when it comes to handling the task in their own facilities and under their own management.
They did express interest in outsourcing their trucking education needs to a third-party, and reestablishing these schools in the same locations as their current training academies. Locations include Indianapolis IN, Laredo TX, and Richmond VA.
Management expressed a desire to focus on the business’ core aspects. The trucking specialist company believes an investment into better training methods under a third-party model could provide them with the skilled drivers they’re looking for.
The company launched a free in-house school five years ago after battling high turnover rates. Celadon says their rate was around 98 percent, which is about average for the entire trucking industry.
The company employs over 3,500 drivers in North America, and their school offered tuition, room, and board at no charge for any driver who committed to driving for Celadon for at least a year following graduation.
Their Laredo school was opened in 2014, and the Richmond facility just last year. A company spokesman reported that these facilities had trained over 2,000 drivers. Their facilities were lavish, featuring dorms, a cafeteria, an exercise room, a basketball court, and a road course.
While Celadon estimated it would spent around $1,400 to train each new student, the cost of this was reportedly cheaper than onboarding more experienced drivers.
Celadon will reportedly continue providing training to its graduates who require additional instruction. Closing down schools wasn’t the only cost-cutting measure they made – they recently sold their flatbed division to Birmingham’s PS Logistics LLC.