Furniture Brands International is shuttering Action Transport Inc., the trucking company for its Lane Furniture Industries division.
Instead, Furniture Brands will use Missoula, Mont.-based Watkins & Shepard Trucking, confirmed Anton Nicholas of ICR, a financial communications company representing Furniture Brands.
“They’ve been doing this since 2009,” Nicholas said.
Indeed, Furniture Brands began using Watkins & Shepard for its Broyhill and Henredon furniture divisions in a move to be more economical and efficient with its shipping operations.
“Our understanding is that Watkins will make offers to current (Action) employees, though they’re not guaranteed,” Nicholas said.
Action employees were informed of the move over the weekend and told the change would take affect on Monday. Action employs about 60 drivers, a source told the Daily Journal.
According to its website, Watkins & Shepard is the largest less-than-truckload specialized furniture carrier providing service to the 48 contiguous United States and the three western provinces of Canada.
“The professional handling of all products in our supply chain results in delivering 99.8% of all shipments error free; one of the lowest claims ratios in the industry,” the company claims. “Warehousing, inventory management systems, container unloading, distribution, LTL freight management and consolidation are value added services the company provides through a network of 20 terminal facilities strategically located throughout the United States.”
Furniture Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. The bankruptcy court in Delaware will look at bids for the company next week. The stalking horse bidder is KPS Capital Partners, which has offered $280 million for the company.