LandAir, the trucking firm with facilities in Williston and Windsor that closed unexpectedly earlier this month, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning it will not be reorganized, but will be liquidated.
The company has about $3 million in assets, and about $43 million in debts, according to documents filed in federal bankruptcy court in Massachusetts, where LandAir is based. Only two creditors have secured claims — Banc of California for $5 million and Corbel Capital Partners, the Los Angeles-based private investment firm that owned the trucking company, for nearly $34 million.
There are hundreds of unsecured creditors across the country, which include many Vermont companies. The companies in Vermont owed the largest amounts are:
- Eden Ice Cider, Newport: $4,996
- Foley Brothers Brewing, Brandon: $2,201
- Hagan Associates, Essex Junction: $9,357
- Lucky’s of Vermont, South Royalton: $36,762
- MacKay Towing & Recovery, Luneburg: $1,435
- Primmer, Piper, Eggleston & Cramer P.C., Burlington: $51,511
- The Old Mill, North Troy: $6,511
In addition, brothers Thomas and William Spencer, whose father Fred founded what would become LandAir in Burlington in 1968 as Allied Air Freight, are owed $137,500 each as the result of a lawsuit. The brothers’ attorney declined to comment.
Court documents also showed that the LandAir facilities in Vermont, along with eight other sites in New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, are listed as “Property That Needs Immediate Attention,” because of hazardous materials found at the site. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, which is responsible for dealing with hazardous materials, did not immediately return a call for comment.
‘A messy and confusing situation’
John Venezia, who managed both of LandAir’s Vermont facilities, said Wednesday the hazardous materials consisted of old computer parts that needed to be recycled, and “a ton of leftover paint to paint the buildings.”
“Other than that, no dangerous hazmat,” Venezia said.
Venezia worked for LandAir for five years, and had been in Vermont for 10 months as a manager.
“We’ve all been laid off, we’re done,” Venezia said. “I don’t know what happened. We came in the day after the Fourth of July and started to lay people off. As soon as they said don’t pick up any freight I knew it was all over.”
Venezia said about 20 employees in Vermont lost their jobs. LandAir’s website, which was still up on Wednesday, says the company has 450 employees, and offers one-and two-day trucking services throughout New England, upstate New York and Canada.
Jesse Andrasi, a former driver for LandAir in Windsor, was also baffled by the collapse of the company.
“I just don’t understand because we were not hurting for business or customers,” Andrasi said in an email. “There were times we just couldn’t keep up, so I know it wasn’t for lack of business.”
Andrasi said in the last company-wide Zoom call, employees were told the company was thriving.
“So I was shocked to see this,” Andrasi said. “Just a messy and confusing situation.”
Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.