Graebel Van Lines, once the nation’s largest independently owned and operated movers, has acknowledged it has shut down and is in the process of selling off its assets.
The Dallas-based company, which as of 2015 had 33 regional offices coast-to-coast including Wausau and at least 2,000 employees, posted a message to creditors on its website confirming shutdown. The company had already laid off 50 Wausau workers in November and in January closed its Wausau warehouse.
“Graebel Van Lines LLC is ceasing ongoing operations, effective immediately, and will begin winding down of the company’s affairs,” according to the statement. “The assets of Graebel Van Lines and all of its operating affiliates have been and remain subject to the liens of a secured creditor.”
The name of the secured creditor has not been publicly released.
No new notice has been filed as of Monday with the Department of Workforce Development indicating a mass layoff at the Wausau corporate office, though companies with fewer than 50 Wisconsin employees are not required to file such reports. After layoffs in November, the company had roughly 75 Wausau employees, though the actual number of remaining employees is not clear.
A March 21 Washington Business Journal report generated a great deal of interest from incensed former Graebel Van Lines employees and independent contractors, many of whom say they are owed thousands of dollars for their work, Journal sources said. Graebel closed an office late last year, in Wisconsin, then shuttered eight more in January, according to a former company administrator who was laid off on Jan. 23. Most remaining Graebel facilities went dark on March 15, though some warehouses may still be operating and clearing out storage and shipments.
Multiple calls to Graebel’s headquarters have not yet been returned, and calls to various Graebel offices across the country, including in Wausau, went unanswered.
Transport Topics, a trade publication, indicated Graebel revenue peaked in 2014 at $363 million and fell to $270 million in 2015, the most recent year reported to Transport Topics’ Top 100 List.