After more than four decades in the freight hauling industry, an Illinois outfit effectively disappeared overnight, mirroring the Lost Roanoke Colony.
Like the Roanoke Colony once located in Dare County, N.C., that seemingly disappeared without a trace, Dillion Logistics shuttered its Facebook page, phone systems, and didn’t release information why the doors were closed on the last day of August. Trucking industry news media outlets have repeatedly tried to contact founder Jeffrey Dillon and members of the management team. Distribution points across the country, including Atlanta, Dallas, Mississippi; Ohio; Indiana; Florida; Savannah, and Tampa, are reportedly non-responsive.
Many in the trucking industry are stunned the “family-owned” operation did not provide upwards of 342 truckers advanced warning about job security, so they could secure other employment. Instead, the workforce reportedly received on an email notice the interstate outfit had ceased operations.
“We are writing to confirm that regrettably, your employment with Dillon terminated on August 31, 2021,” Mike Cloonen, president of Dillon Logistics, reportedly stated in an email. “The timing of this layoff is caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable.”
Dillon Logistics operated as Dillon Transport with a headquarters based in Burr Ridge, Illinois. The organization began in 1980 as a freight hauler delivering dry bulk and liquid tanker services to the agriculture, building products, industrial, and energy industries. Reports surfaced that Dillon had “recapitalized” by working with Texas-based Cotton Creek Capital in recent years. The press information in 2017 revolved around Dillon potentially expanding its already national footprint.
“I am very proud of both the company and reputation we have built over the past 36 years. Every employee has been critical in establishing a legacy of providing excellent service to our customers and the team at Cotton Creek understood the importance of that backbone from the beginning. I am excited for the next phase of Dillon’s growth as we continue to add assets and resources to service our customers.” Jeffrey Dillon reportedly stated in a 2017 press release.
Contrary to the pro-growth narrative just four years ago, Cloonen indicated to employees the freight carrier was on the market.
“The Company had planned to sell the business to another entity under terms pursuant to which the buyer had agreed to maintain the employment of our employees. Unfortunately, that transaction will not be going forward, and we are left with no reasonable alternative other than to liquidate the business,” Cloonen reportedly stated.
Like the Lost Colony of Roanoke that was found abandoned 15 years after its formation, questions remain unanswered about the seemingly conflicting information leading up to the abrupt Dillon closure. The good news for truck drivers is that other transportation outfits are already trying to attract qualified CDL-holders. Some are even offering sign-on bonuses to join their fleets.