Furniture Brands closing Action Transport

lane-furniture-logoBy Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Action Transport trucks have been moving Lane Furniture merchandise for more than 40 years, but that won’t be the case after Monday.

Parent company Furniture Brands International is shuttering Action, the trucking company subsidiary of Lane.

Instead, Furniture Brands will use Missoula, Mont.-based Watkins & Shepard Trucking, said Anton Nicholas of ICR, a financial communications company representing Furniture Brands.

“They’ve been doing this since 2009,” Nicholas said.

Furniture Brands began using Watkins & Shepard for its Broyhill and Henredon furniture divisions four years ago in a move to be more economical and efficient with its shipping operations.

That’s the case with the Action move, Nicholas said.

Action employees won’t necessarily lose their jobs.

“Our understanding is that Watkins will make offers to current (Action) employees, though they’re not guaranteed,” Nicholas said.

The Action workers were informed of the move over the weekend and told the change would take affect on Monday. Action employs about 60 drivers, a source told the Daily Journal.

According to its website, Watkins & Shepard is the largest less-than-truckload specialized furniture carrier providing service to the 48 contiguous United States and the three western provinces of Canada. It has 20 terminals across the country.

Furniture Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. The bankruptcy court in Delaware will look at bids for the company next week. The stalking horse bidder is KPS Capital Partners, which has offered $280 million for the company.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com