Major Logistics Company Abruptly Shuts Down

( – Two thousand workers at a Texas logistics company have abruptly found themselves jobless. US Logistics Solutions (USLS) has just told its staff that it’s shutting down — and they won’t be getting paid. The company has been closed down by its owners, a private equity firm.

Late on June 20, the employees of Humble, Texas-based USLS started receiving calls or text messages from their bosses. The shock notifications told them the company was ceasing operations, they were all being let go, and they wouldn’t be receiving their paychecks the next day. The sudden shutdown seems to be in violation of federal law; the 1988 Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act) says companies with more than 100 employees have to give 60 days notice of large layoffs.

It’s unclear why USLS has been closed down. On June 22, Eric Culbertson, who was the company’s president until two days earlier, posted a message on LinkedIn saying he was “devastated” by the decision to ax the company “at the same time business was surging.” Culbertson went on to ask other shipping companies to hire his former employees, and added “We all deserved better.”

USLS is owned by Ten Oaks Group, a private equity firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, which bought the company from its previous owner, national freight shipper Forward Air, in 2021. So far Ten Oaks hasn’t made any statement about the closure.

However, there’s some evidence that although Culbertson said business was growing, USLS might have already been struggling. Insiders say the company had been through several rounds of layoffs over the last few months.

Before Ten Oaks bought it, USLS had been Forward Air’s pool distribution unit. That involved moving shipments the last leg from Forward’s freight depots to their final destination. Forward’s financial data around the time of the sale showed the pool distribution division brought in 15% of the company’s revenue — but that doesn’t mean it was making a profit.

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