J.B. Hunt wins C&S trucking contract

Saturday January 12, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- For more than 25 years, C&S Wholesale Grocers has relied on Webster Trucking and Brattleboro Haulage to move its product from its warehouses to retail markets.

That relationship ended earlier this week. The Reformer learned on Thursday through confidential sources that J.B. Hunt Transport Services won the contract.

David Disilva, president of Webster Trucking, confirmed that it had lost its hauling contract with C&S, but had no other comment. A person who answered the phone at Brattleboro Haulage said he had no comment on the loss of the contract.

Multiple attempts to contact C&S Wholesale Grocers’ media relations department in Keene, N.H., J.B. Hunt’s media relations department in Lowell, Ark., went unanswered.

According to the Reformer’s sources, drivers were told on Wednesday, Jan. 9, about the change and given the opportunity to transfer employment to J.B. Hunt.

Two former Webster Trucking drivers told the Reformer that they have been contacted by a recruiter from J.B. Hunt and asked if they would like to come drive for the company. The drivers were offered $975 a week and promised they would only work five days a week and would be home each night. Both drivers told the Reformer they turned down the job offer.

The wife of a former driver told the Reformer that she wasn’t surprised the drivers turned down the offer, as when her husband left the job he was making nearly $1,300 a week.

Another source told the Reformer that J.B. Hunt expected it would lose about half the current drivers, though it was looking to locally hire 37 people to fulfill its contract commitment to C&S. It is uncertain what the employment picture is like for drivers not locally based.

According to the Brattleboro Lister’s Office, Webster Trucking claimed $4,000 in business personal property and Brattleboro Haulage’s claim was less than $5,000. According to the former drivers, neither company owned the trucks, and instead rented them.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.


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