Carlen Transport, the largest flatbed truck operator in Maine, ceased operations this week, saying high costs and weak demand from the housing and construction made it impossible to keep the company running.
The shutdown, which will cost some 100 workers their jobs, is the second failure of a multi-state trucking company over the holidays. Flatbed operator Arrow Trucking abruptly ceased operations Christmas week.
With 105 tractors and 112 trailers, Carlen was about a tenth the size of Arrow, but the 23-year-old company was the largest of its kind in Maine, had a separate office in Keasby, N.J., and provided service across most of the country.
Owner Lenny Peters told the Bangor Daily News in an interview that the business was losing money on every mile on the road and that the company could no longer afford to try to ride out the weak economy.
“We’ve tried to hold out hope that the economy will get better,” he told the newspaper, “but all indications were that we didn’t expect that to happen. We got caught up in the recession and couldn’t recover.”