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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nashua Motor Express closing after 92 years in business

NASHUA – A business mainstay for more than nine decades and one of only two family-owned trucking businesses in the state is selling off its trucks to focus on logistics services.

After 92 years in business, Nashua Motor Express Inc., at 270 Amherst St., informed its 30 employees Tuesday morning that it is closing, co-owner Diana Juris told The Telegraph. ...

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NASHUA – A business mainstay for more than nine decades and one of only two family-owned trucking businesses in the state is selling off its trucks to focus on logistics services.

After 92 years in business, Nashua Motor Express Inc., at 270 Amherst St., informed its 30 employees Tuesday morning that it is closing, co-owner Diana Juris told The Telegraph.

“We hesitated to close the business because of our wonderful employees,” she said. “Our drivers, our girls in the office, you can’t beat them, and that was a very hard decision because of them.”

All but about six of the employees will be let go, including all of the company’s truck drivers.

Juris, the granddaughter of Nashua Motor Express founder and owner Philip Michael, said the company’s 20 tractors and three trailers are for sale, and the business has already seen interest from potential buyers.

Once its fleet is sold, Juris’ family will run Nashua Logistics & Transportation Services LLC, matching customers who need to have their freight hauled and delivered with carriers around the country.

The transition on Amherst Street reflects that of the trucking industry overall, Juris said.

“You can ask anybody about that,” she said. “It has changed drastically. We just decided that it was time.”

Between spikes in diesel prices and petroleum costs – along with insurance increases – the company opted to stay in business but without the trucks, she said.

“What we’re finding is the rules and regulations are getting tougher, which I suppose is rightly so because of the industry,” Juris said. “We’re on the road. It’s a safety situation. Insurance prices are going up, as they do for everyone, but we’re also finding our manufacturing firms are not having the business – they’re not producing the materials as much as they used to be.”

Nashua Motor Express hauled freight for manufacturers mostly in New England, but also across the country and internationally, she said. Its accounts included Smiths Medical of Keene, Goss International of Durham, and Dodge Chemical of Cambridge, Mass.

The family made the decision to phase out its hauling business and focus on logistics about a year ago, Juris said.

“It’s kind of a new way,” she said. “People are tired of having to call different carriers to try to get good pricing to ship their product, so they’re going to logistics. … Transportation has many avenues, and we decided to take logistics, because logistics seems to be up and coming.”

Long before Juris’ family hauled freight, however, her grandfather, Michael, raised pigs, Juris said. When the pigs started dying, he took them to Nashua Beef, on Spring Street at the time.

“They asked him to start driving the meat from Nashua into Boston, and from Boston to Nashua,” Juris explained.

In 1922, at age 30, Michael purchased a second-hand, 1-ton Dodge truck and began daily two-trip service, hauling beef and beef byproducts from local packing houses.

“It was an easy transition,” Juris said.

Michael started operating Nashua Motor Express in a back room of the Palm Street home he shared with his wife and three daughters about three years later.

In 1953, Michael’s daughter, Alpy, and her husband, George Juris, incorporated the company, and in May 1960, they moved it to its location on Amherst Street – an Amherst Street that was “one way east, one way west” at the time, Juris said.

The company will continue operating there “temporarily,” Juris said; in the meantime, she, her sister and co-owner Nancy Pappo and nephew Michael Pappo, will dismantle the store, write letters of recommendation for employees and other tasks to complete the transition to Nashua Logistics.

“We’re very proud to be from Nashua, we really are,” Juris said, “This has been hard for the whole family.”

For more information about Nashua Logistics, visit www.NashuaLogistics.com.

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Gill
on Twitter (@Telegraph_MAG).