GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Paul Jorgensen has heard the call of the open road.

“I think exploring this great country while getting paid for it is probably the best route,” said Jorgensen.

He’s just a couple of weeks into training for a Commercial Driver’s License at West Michigan CDL in Grandville. As he shifts toward his new career, he’s also following news of the apparent failure of the nation’s third largest carrier, Yellow Trucking.

“I’m watching it with close eyes. It’s unfortunate for those people. But I still feel, with one closed door come another opening,” said Jorgensen.

Yellow Trucking has idled terminals across the U.S., putting some 30,000 jobs in jeopardy.

Locally, Holland Freight is a Yellow subsidiary. Its headquarters in Holland appear to be closed and at the company’s Wyoming terminal on Chicago Drive, trucks were parked with no apparent sign of activity.

When reached by phone, Holland Freight officials declined comment on whether they are accepting or shipping freight.

Yellow and its subsidiaries specialize in Less than Load Deliveries, catering to customers who don’t need a full trailer for their deliveries. 

“I’m sure there’s going to be some voids to fill. I don’t know who will pick that up but I’m sure some of the smaller LTL carriers and some of the over-the-road carriers will try to figure out a way to help pick up the slack,” said West Michigan CDL President Mike Birdsall.

Financial problems have plagued Yellow for years, despite a $700 million loan from the feds during the pandemics that was never paid back.

Industry insiders say dropping rates and higher fuel costs have added to the trucking company’s financial woes. Media reports indicate Yellow plans on filing for bankruptcy.

“I don’t think it’s trouble down the road at this point, I think … I’m not an expert on what happened with YRC, but I think that was just a unique situation,” said Birdsall.

Birdsall says the failure of Yellow shouldn’t scare anyone away from the industry.

“Training providers all over the area are busier than we’ve been in years,” said Birdsall. “I think anybody’s who still considering truck driving — I wouldn’t have any concerns. There’s still plenty of work available.”

And that work pays about $22 starting out.

Birsdall said they’re turning out about 30 students every training session, and their placement is nearly 100%.