CORRECTED -- Land-Air Express of New England may reopen this week after being placed out of service by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Dec. 29. The out of service order apparently resulted from an unsatisfactory audit in early November. As of Tuesday, the less-than-truckload company was awaiting the go-ahead to resume operations.

Company officials told the Journal of Commerce that it “is working closely with customers and its carrier partners to weather the shutdown,” and that the carrier, “working with a third party, had addressed the concerns raised in the audit.”

A Land-Air driver on truckingboards.com said the company told driver they might be able to return to work Tuesday or Wednesday.

With more than 300 trucks, Land-Air Express may be the largest company put out of service by FMCSA. Typical out-of-service orders have been for much smaller operations.

Unlike those smaller operations, where the FMCSA has sent out a notice and copy of the out of service order to the media, few details have been made public about Land-Air Express shutdown order.

In response to an email query from HDT, FMCSA explained that in late October, following a compliance review, the carrier was notified of a “proposed unsatisfactory” safety rating.  Carriers have 60 days to submit an acceptable corrective action plan, appeal or contest the proposed safety rating; that window closed December 29. The carrier may still appeal or contest or work to provide a corrective action plan acceptable to USDOT/FMCSA, which apparently it is working on, according to published reports.

Land-Air's profile on the SAFER system notes that the Carrier VMT is outdated. The carrier’s out of service rate for vehicle inspections is in line with the national average and for drivers is considerably less than the national average, although hazmat inspection out of service orders are more than three times higher than the national average. It had 47 reportable crashes in the previous 24 months, none fatal.

A compliance review in 2013 resulted in approximately $25,000 in penalties, primarily from violations of 177.804(a).

Land-Air Express of New England is part of the Reliance Network of LTL carriers, which includes Pitt Ohio, Averitt Express, and several other regional LTL carriers.

CORRECTED 1 p.m. EDT Jan. 6, 2016: Land-Air Express of New England is not connected with Land Air Express based in Bowling Green, Ky., a full service expedited carrier now offering service throughout the U.S. and Canada. A previous headline did not make that clear. We apologize for any confusion.

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