Preston is a unionized carrier that operated more than 60 terminals. It was the sixth-largest regional freight hauler in the country, according to published reports.
Things were looking up, reports the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal. The company had recently turned a profit for the first time since 1990. Yellow had forgiven almost $80 million in debt as part of the sale. The company had a five-year labor agreement with the Teamsters union. Revenues were growing, with major shippers such as Hoover, Mr. Coffee and Rubbermaid.
But the company had cash flow problems, and Preston's creditors said Saturday they wouldn't advance any more money. The company wasn't able to make other financial arrangements.
Preston was founded in 1932 and was independent until Yellow Corp. bought it in 1993. Yellow sold the company last summer to a group of Preston executives.
Yellow Freight System stepped into the breach to offer Preston customers continuing service. "We have the equipment and network capacity to handle the Preston volume, particularly in the Upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic Seaboard," said Yellow President Bill Zollars, "and we intend to increase that capacity further by adding many of Preston's outstanding employees in areas where we need them."
Overnite Transportation yesterday signed an agreement with Preston to help customers with shipments to and from Puerto Rico and plans to assume Preston's entire Puerto Rican operations.