Drivers who hauled loads for logistics company Eleets Transportation of Jacksonville, FL, say they are still owed thousands of dollars for loads they hauled, but were never paid for, after the company abruptly shut its doors on Nov. 9.
Bobby Sulaiman, an OOIDA member from Charlotte, NC, has a five-truck operation. He told Land Line on Thursday, Nov. 30, that he is out $2,000 for newspaper inserts one of his drivers hauled on Nov. 6, three days prior to the closure.
“They were a big company. I was surprised when I heard the news,” Sulaiman said. “I had done business with Eleets in the past – had done a credit check on them a few months ago and everything was fine, but apparently a lot changed since that time.”
Sulaiman said he paid his driver even though he didn’t receive payment from Eleets for the load.
“My driver did everything I asked of him, so it wasn’t his fault,” Sulaiman said. “I find it hard to believe they were still booking loads three days before they closed without knowing what was going on,” he said.
Willie Nowden Jr., an OOIDA member from El Paso, TX, hauled a load of sugar cane from Wyoming to Arkansas just before Eleets’ shutdown. He told Land Line he is still owed more than $1,700 for the load.
He said the broker from Eleets whom he dealt with on the load did return one of his phone calls after he found out the company had closed its doors.
“The broker told me he had lost his job and couldn’t help me,” Nowden said. “I have tried several times to call Eleets, but no one is answering the phones.”
In 2011, Eleets’ logistics side had more than 200 employees and posted revenues of more than $127 million. According to the carrier registration information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, the company, which also had a trucking division, had 128 power units and 135 drivers as of July 2012.
Several trucking companies said they have filed claims on Eleets’ broker bond.
Sulaiman said in the nine years he’s been in trucking, this is the first time he wasn’t paid for a load.
“It’s a wake-up call that this can happen even if you’ve dealt with the company before,” he said. “I am checking every time before taking a load now.”
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