March 16, 2016 10:35 AM, EDT

Southern California Drayage Hauler TTSI Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

TT File Photo

The parent company of Total Transportation Services Inc. filed voluntarily for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in federal court in Delaware, citing legal difficulties relating to independent contractors and the California Labor Commissioner.

Premium Transportation Services Inc., which does business as TTSI, filed March 13 in Wilmington, listing nine pages of creditors.

The papers were signed by PTSI’s chief financial officer, Sam Joumblat, and said the Southern California drayage hauler has assets ranging from $1 million to $10 million, but liabilities of $10 million to $50 million.

Legal papers said the company’s ownership wants to remain in business rather than liquidate. The filing was in Delaware because Premium is incorporated there, but TTSI’s operating headquarters are in Rancho Dominguez, California.

Court papers say that drayage runs in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are TTSI’s major line of business, although the company also works East Coast ports.

Two of the company’s three largest creditors are law firms: $187,400 claimed by a Greenville, South Carolina, firm and $121,800 by a Chicago firm.

The other major creditor is Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals, owed $142,400 for rent.

TTSI started in 1989 as an airfreight carrier and then switched to truckload and added drayage, which by the late 1990s was its major business.

Classification of drivers as company employees or independent contractors generated a lot of litigation in which TTSI became involved, creating a combination of problems that “has proven more than the Debtor can manage. As a result, the Debtor determined that filing this case was necessary to provide a breathing space to stabilize operations and evaluate options for its business going forward.”