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Big shipping company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Parts of the company have also filed a rare Chapter 15 bankruptcy.



The covid pandemic decimated the supply chain. People needed goods — perhaps more than they ever had — but factories and warehouses struggled to keep up due to workers being sick and social distancing rules.

Truck drivers still did their jobs but, in many cases, the support systems they relied on were not operational. Rest stops and restaurants were closed and even finding an operating bathroom was a challenge.

Related: Discount retailer faces Chapter 11 bankruptcy or liquidation

It was a period that created some opportunity as the demands of the entire nation shifted, but it also increased costs. Trucks were waiting to be loaded, drivers were unable to hit the toad because they, or someone close to them, got sick, and the entire industry was under stress.

A number of regional carriers have since been driven into bankruptcy and, now, a major carrier has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with parts of its filing falling under Chapter 15 of the bankruptcy code. That's a lesser-used type of bankruptcy designed to protect foreign companies operating in the United States.

"This chapter of the bankruptcy code allows for the recognition in the U.S. of foreign bankruptcy proceedings and access to domestic judicial proceedings by foreign representatives," the IRS shared on its website.

The shipping industry has seen multiple bankruptcies.

Image source: Shutterstock

Family-owned trucking company struggles

Pride Group, a family-owned trucking company, has its headquarters in Canada, but operates in the U.S. as well.

"We are a privately held, diversified group whose subsidiaries and affiliates operate in a variety of industries including transportation, logistics, heavy-duty equipment dealerships, equipment leasing & rentals, real-estate holdings, and full-service fleet management. PGE operates and manages businesses in both Canada and the United States, employing over 500 people," the company shared on its website.

The company has struggled in recent months and has taken steps to restructure its business. This has included a bankruptcy filing, which the company explained on its website.

"Pride Group Holdings Inc. and other applicant companies (the “Applicants”) sought and obtained protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”) pursuant to an Initial Order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) (the “Initial Order”). Other companies affiliated with the Applicants (the “Additional Stay Parties”, and together with Applicants, the “Pride Group”), although not applicants themselves, were granted a stay of proceedings as part of these proceedings under the CCAA (the “CCAA Proceedings”) for the duration of 10-days, subject to extension thereafter as the Court deems appropriate."

That's the Canadian version of bankruptcy, but there has also been a U.S. filing.

"Certain companies in the Pride Group will file cases under Chapter 15 of Title 11 of the United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Chapter 15 Cases”) seeking recognition of the CCAA Proceedings within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and other related relief," the company shared.

Pride Group continues to operate

Pride Group has a complicated array of holdings that includes 16 transport companies, 45 real estate holding companies, and 10 other holding companies founded and controlled by Sulakhan “Sam” Johal, Truck News reported.

The company has roughly $2 billion in debt and the company blames the current freight market for its troubles.

“Spot freight prices, diesel prices, and interest rate trends were all initially favorable for the trucking industry following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. They have all deteriorated significantly since that time. The bottom-line result is made significantly worse by virtue of the increased trucking and logistics supply that was brought to market during the upturn, which is currently sitting as unused excess capacity in the market," according to a court filing.

The company, which controls 20,000 trucks,  was profitable until the pandemic, according to Johal.

 Pride Group filed for bankruptcy protection after it defaulted on debt owed to Mitsubishi HC Capital which had been personally guaranteed by Johal. More than 20 other lenders have filed claims against the company which does plan to continue operating. 


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Remote customer service jobs: What they pay & how to get one

Remote customer service jobs at virtual call centers are one of the few work-from-home opportunities open to candidates at the entry level. Here’s where…



Quick facts:

Remote customer service jobs are available directly from companies and also from third-party customer experience firms called BPOs.

Jobs at customer experience BPOs are the easiest to get without experience, but starting pay is relatively low, and work can be inconsistent.

The highest-paying work-from-home customer service roles are with insurance companies, but these jobs may require experience or licensing.

Those new to the field can start at a customer service BPO, then aim for higher-paying roles with specific companies after they gain experience.

For many types of job-seekers, remote work is ideal, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to come by. The COVID-19 pandemic thrust the idea of working from home into the mainstream in 2020, and while the concept has certainly held onto some of its footing, many companies, even some in the tech sector — like Amazon — have since instituted fairly strict return-to-office policies. Remote positions, as a result, can be harder to find than they once were, especially for entry-level applicants.

One fairly broad field that consistently seems to employ remote workers, even at the entry level, is customer service. These days, customer service roles typically involve speaking on the phone and chatting online with customers (and sometimes other stakeholders like suppliers and vendors) to answer questions, resolve issues, and route important queries upward to more experienced professionals when appropriate.

Jobs like these certainly have their downsides — long, sedentary hours spent on the phone and computer and repeated interactions with sometimes-irritated customers, for instance — but the fact that they can be done remotely and usually don’t require a wealth of credentials or experience makes them a convenient choice for entry-level applicants who need to be able to work at home.

We scoured the web to find out what you need to do in order to get a work-from-home job as a customer service rep, what sorts of opportunities are out there, and what they pay.

Related: Amazon remote jobs & what they pay: Customer service, management & more

Equipment & qualifications for a job at a virtual call center

Different customer service roles have different requirements, but based on the common requisites listed across the bulk of job postings by individual companies and dedicated customer service firms, the following are must-haves for anyone applying to work as a remote call center representative.

  • A modern computer with a relatively fast processor (Intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5, Apple M1, etc.) and plenty of RAM (8+ GB)
  • A reliable high-speed internet connection (25 MBPS download; 5 MBPS upload)
  • Headphones with a microphone
  • The ability to type quickly (at least 35 words per minute)
  • General fluency with common computer operations (Microsoft Office, web navigation, form filling, etc.)
  • Language fluency
  • Problem-solving skills and a friendly, helpful attitude

Individual positions often have additional requirements, but the core list above represents the most crucial toolkit for anyone who wants to get hired to work from home in the customer service field.

In very rare cases, certain supplies (like a computer, keyboard, and headset) may be provided by the employer, but this is the exception and not the rule, so it’s best to show up to the virtual interview already equipped.

Some companies have their own customer service departments, while others outsource call center work to dedicated customer experience companies. 

picture alliance/Getty Images

How to find remote customer service jobs

Some companies run their own virtual call centers and hire their own remote customer service representatives, while others contract this work to a third-party customer experience company that serves many different corporate clients. These are known as BPO (business process outsourcing) firms.

It’s also worth mentioning that many of the higher-paying opportunities in remote customer service are in the insurance industry, although these sometimes require specific licenses and may involve some sales work.

For someone new to customer service work, all three of these options (working directly for a company, working for a BPO firm, and working in insurance) are worth exploring. A first job in an entry-level call center position could later serve as resume fodder when applying for a higher-level customer support position with an insurance company.

Here’s where to look for jobs in each of these three categories:

Positions at BPO customer experience companies

Positions at dedicated customer experience companies can be less stable than those working directly for a specific company, as employees may be assigned to a specific “campaign” (e.g., a one-month customer-support contract from, say, TurboTax) and then left hanging with few or no hours until another campaign comes up. For this reason, these companies and positions are known for high turnover.

That being said, working for a BPO customer experience firm can be a great way to get experience in the customer service industry, often providing support for major, Fortune 500 clients like Apple or Oracle. This type of experience can go a long way when applying to subsequent, potentially higher-paying, more stable positions in the remote customer service field.

Here are a few major work-from-home CX (customer experience) companies to check out:


Alorica is a large, multinational customer experience company with over 115,000 employees worldwide. It contracts with major clients in both the public and private sectors, including government organizations, banks, utilities companies, and wireless providers.

Most of Alorica’s U.S.-based remote customer service jobs start at around $15–$17 per hour at the entry level, but higher-paying opportunities ($18–$25 per hour) are also available to applicants with special qualifications, like those who are bilingual, have previous customer service experience, or have industry-specific certifications (like CompTIA A+ for IT-related positions). Training is paid, and permanent positions with Alorica come with a full suite of employee benefits.

To browse and apply to the company’s open positions, visit Alorica’s careers portal and search using your location (e.g., United States) and keywords like Remote or Work from home.

Concentrix is a large customer experience firm that handles call center work for a number of major companies. 

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Concentrix + Webhelp

Concentrix, which acquired Webhelp in 2023, is a similar business to Alorica, although it employs almost four times as many people worldwide. Concentrix’s clients span multiple industries, including technology, financial services, natural resources, healthcare, media, and others.

Unlike Alorica, Concetrix doesn’t provide starting wages on most of its job postings, but based on information shared by current and former employees on career data sites, starting pay for entry-level customer service positions is usually around $15 per hour. As with Alorica, however, applicants who are bilingual or have specialized certifications or previous experience may be eligible for higher starting pay. Training is paid, and most non-temporary positions are eligible for employee benefits and performance-based bonuses.

To browse the company’s open positions, visit Concentrix’s remote careers portal, click into the search bar, and select Contact Center from the “Job Categories” drop-down menu. This will land you on a list of open positions. On the left side of the screen, select the checkbox that corresponds to your country to further narrow your search.

Teleperformance is only slightly smaller than Concentrix but provides similar customer support services to large companies across a variety of industries. 

Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


Teleperformance, headquartered in France, has a workforce of around 410,000 worldwide, making it slightly smaller than Concentrix. As a BPO, It provides similar customer communication services to Alorica and Concentrix.

Like Concentrix, Teleperformance doesn’t provide starting wages on its job listings, but the company’s positions do come with paid training and a full suite of employee benefits. Current and former employee-provided wage information on career data sites indicates that while Teleperformance’s positions vary quite a bit compensation-wise, $15 per hour is common for entry-level employees, and those with specific qualifications can earn more.

To browse the company’s open positions, visit Teleperformance’s careers site, enter your location, and toggle the “Only work-from-home” switch.

Company-specific customer service positions

For many work-from-home customer service professionals, working directly for a company rather than working for a customer service BPO can have certain advantages like stability, pay raises, upward mobility, and sometimes, company-sponsored training for certifications. That being said, these jobs can be more difficult to land, so working for a BPO first to gain experience can be a good stepping stone.


Modivcare is a social services company headquartered in Atlanta that works with individuals through government programs like Medicaid, juvenile justice, welfare, and others. Modivcare hires its own customer service employees, so these jobs can be more stable than those at BPO companies, and employees may be able to move into higher-paying positions with experience.

Remote customer service positions here come with a full suite of benefits, and starting pay ranges from around $14.50 to $19 per hour, depending on the specifics of the position.

To look over the company’s job openings, visit Modivcare’s careers portal, and select Remote in the “Location” drop-down menu and Customer Service & Support Group in the “Job Category” drop-down menu. Some remote positions at Modivcare are state-specific, so be sure to read job postings carefully.

Rather than outsourcing call center work to a BPO, CVS has its own customer service department, and many representatives work from home. 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


CVS is an American healthcare, pharmacy, and retail company with around 300,000 total employees, most of whom do not work remotely. The company does, however, regularly hire remote employees to work in customer service, sometimes in Medicaid-specific customer support roles.

Most of these positions do require some degree of experience (usually one or more years of call center work and/or some experience in the medical field) and the bulk of these tend to go to candidates who are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Because these jobs can be a bit harder to qualify for, they also tend to have better starting pay ranges. Most of the ranges listed on open customer service positions as of this article’s last update have a lower end around $17 per hour and a higher end closer to $30.

To browse what the company has available, go to CVS’ careers site, select Customer and Member Services from the “Job Category” drop-down men,u and check the Remote box under the “Remote Jobs” heading.

Tip: Start with a job at a customer service BPO like Teleperformance. Learn Spanish on your own time while gaining experience for a year or more, then apply to a higher-paying bilingual customer service role at CVS or Progressive.

Insurance industry customer service positions

Work-from-home call center jobs in the insurance industry tend to offer higher compensation, as they usually involve some element of sales, at least eventually — and that brings incentive pay into the equation. The very best insurance call center agents bring home over six figures per year after bonuses.

Of all major U.S. insurance companies, Progressive tends to have the most available remote customer service positions at any given time. 

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images


Progressive is a large, American insurance company with about 55,000 employees. The company hires a large number of remote call center employees who, once they obtain the proper licenses (usually Property and Casualty or Personal Lines), can earn higher wages by acting as actual insurance agents.

Positions are available across the U.S., and most require either two years of post-secondary education or two years of relevant (i.e., customer service) experience. Additionally, the company prefers to hire candidates who are bilingual in English and Spanish. Because of these requirements, remote call center jobs here start at $20.25 per hour (or $21.50 per hour for already-licensed candidates).

These positions come with full employee benefits, the opportunity for performance-based bonus pay, and 10% additional pay for evening and weekend shifts. The company also supports unlicensed hires through their licensing process during training. To browse the company’s open positions, visit Progressive’s careers site, type Remote into the “Keywords” field, and select Contact Center under the “Job Category” field.

Allstate, like Progressive, hires remote reps, but the company tends to have fewer work-from-home opportunities available at any given time. 

Scott Olson/Getty Images


Allstate is also a large American insurance company. Based in Illinois, it employs around 55,000 people. Allstate, like Progressive, offers remote customer service positions, but they are a little harder to come by, so it’s important to check their site frequently to see if anything has become available.

Customer service positions at Allstate are usually called “Licensed Inside Sales Representative,” and as the name implies, they do require an active Personal Lines or Property and Casualty License, although some candidates can earn these certifications post-hire.

These positions come with a base salary of around $36,400 annually (around $17.50 per hour), but the company states that average performers usually bring home between $57,000 and $69,280 per year, including performance-based incentives. These positions also come with a full array of employee benefits that go into effect immediately.

To see what jobs are available, visit Allstate’s careers portal and select the Call Center box under the “Departments” heading.

Related: Apple remote jobs & what they pay: Customer service, AI engineer & more

How to land your first work-from-home customer service job

  • Make sure you possess all of the equipment and qualifications listed above.
  • Craft a resume that highlights any relevant job experience (i.e., anything involving interpersonal interaction like retail or service work) and your technical proficiency with computer and telephone systems.
  • Apply to as many jobs as you can, including those at BPO customer experience companies, especially if you don’t have any previous call center experience and aren’t bilingual.
  • During interviews (which are usually remote and conducted via video chat), wear clean, smart clothing (i.e., business casual attire).
  • Look your interviewer in the eye, speak slowly and clearly, and maintain a polite composure to demonstrate your ability to respond calmly to questions and concerns as you would in a customer service role.

How to advance your career in remote customer service

  • Become bilingual. If you are in the United States, this means English and Spanish, although other, less common languages can qualify you for very specific positions that may offer higher pay.
  • Once you have at least a year of experience and are bilingual, begin applying to higher-paying positions at pharmacy or insurance call centers.
  • If you are able to land a job at an insurance company, begin working toward your certifications. In some cases, the company may be willing to reimburse you for the cost of courses and exams.
  • Once you are licensed, hone your sales skills, and aim to earn as much incentive pay as you can.
  • Over time and with experience, try to move up to training and management roles, which come with higher base salaries, while continuing to conduct sales in order to earn incentive pay. 

Related: Disney remote jobs: The most magical WFH careers on earth?

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Southwest Airlines challenged on its low-cost claims

The company markets itself as a ‘low-cost’ airline but that may not actually be true.



Some words have no legal definition even if most consumers take an "I know it when I see it" approach. 

You can call your company "low cost" or "discount" and that can mean very different things. 

For someone who shops at high-end retailers, Macy's may seem like a value brand (although the company does not make that claim). Or a regular Dillard's shopper might see Marshalls, Bealls and other retailers that market based on offering low prices as the low-cost or discount brands.   

Related: Failed deal leaves another airline facing bankruptcy, liquidation

When it comes to airlines it becomes even more confusing. Many full-fare airlines have higher prices and charge for "extras" like checked bags and onboard WiFi.

The lowest-cost carriers — Spirit (SAVE) , Frontier, Allegiant and similar players — market themselves as low-cost, but they are really a la carte. Passengers pay little for their tickets, but they pay extra for everything from carry-on bags to checked luggage and even getting an actual seat assignment.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) , which considers itself a discount carrier, has always operated differently from its rivals at both ends of the pricing spectrum. The airline's fares are generally cheaper than traditional airlines like United, Delta and American, but they cost more than Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant.

In addition, Southwest included carry-on and checked bags in your ticket price, so it's offering added value in that way as well. Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, a longtime supporter of Southwest, no longer sees the company as a low-cost carrier.

Image source: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Ryanair CEO makes Southwest Airlines claims

Southwest clearly defines its "purpose" on its website: "To connect people to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel." 

At the top of its "About Us" page, the airline also touts its "one-of-a-kind value."

O’Leary does not see it that way.

“Southwest’s average fare in the last decade has crept up – their average last year was $170 a seat. That’s not a particularly cheap airline. Our average airfare in Europe was €44 [$47] a seat. I don’t think Southwest is really a low-fares airline anymore,” he told Skift.

Ryanair's CEO says Southwest is causing itself problems by not charging for checked bags. He noted that his airline saw its rate of passengers who check bags drop to 20% from 80% once it started charging for the privilege.

“And yet at Southwest, you go through American airports and people are carrying on five bags, checking in five bags. The whole process is delayed," he said. "They put out all this schlock about ‘our passengers are our guests, and you wouldn’t want to charge your guests for their bags,’ but why do you charge for the seats if that’s the case? Give it all away for free.” 

Southwest allows two free checked bags per passenger.

O'Leary took one parting shot at the airline he studied when building Ryanair: “Southwest has lost the passion for low-cost, low-fare air travel.” 

Data show Ryanair's O'Leary may have a point

While 2022 may have been an abnormal year as airlines and the overall economy recovered from the covid pandemic, a study of airline revenue per seat mile conducted by Flight Advisor was not favorable to Southwest. 

"Although Southwest Airlines is technically the world’s largest low-cost carrier, the airline’s total revenue per seat mile is the highest on our list at $0.1729," wrote Amy Lancelotte. "This isn’t much more than Delta, but travelers who think that Southwest offers the lowest prices are in for a surprise. This brings forth the question of whether Southwest should even be considered a budget carrier."

Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant, in that order, had the lowest revenue per seat mile. 

A similar report by LendEdu, done in May 2023, also ranked Southwest as the most expensive of the major U.S. airlines on a cost-per-mile basis.

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The Optimism-Fatalism Historical Cycle

The Optimism-Fatalism Historical Cycle

Authored by Gregory Copley via The Epoch Times,

No fundamental form of human behavior, for better…



The Optimism-Fatalism Historical Cycle

Authored by Gregory Copley via The Epoch Times,

No fundamental form of human behavior, for better or worse, disappears forever.

Cycles of wealth, fear, or frustration force changes, and they bear an uncanny similarity to Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man.” We are, above all else, predictable.

The present decline, distortion, or much-heralded “end of democracy” is overstated. Still, it is difficult to disagree that the present cycle of democracy—beginning in the 18th century—has run its course. It is a human concept of behavior and, as with all things human, has its lifespan before it becomes feeble and sclerotic, corrupt and cynical, and ultimately a parody of what was intended in the flush of innocent youth.

Throughout the world, “democracies” now see themselves beset by the internal competition for office by career politicians whose goal, before all else, is to attain and retain power. The compromises of dignity, nobility of purpose, and service to the electorate are the hallmarks of the age. These compromises have led to the thing aspiring politicians once saw as the bane of human existence: autocracies or, worse, rampant and totalitarian tyrannies. But autocracies cloak themselves with the language of democracy.

Just as Africa, freed now from the coercion of major external powers, has resorted to removing governments by force, we see politicians in power using their office to suppress, deter, or remove their challengers for office.

The Communist Party of China (CCP) introduced the concept of “lawfare” to outmaneuver its domestic and international opponents: using legal mechanisms to constrain an adversary. This concept has been adopted vigorously by “democratically elected politicians” worldwide, so there are now few societies where “lawfare” is not used to eliminate legitimate opponents and constrain and channel society at large.

The spirit of democracy is nowhere to be seen.

Waste no time on mourning. Democracy has had its day and will return when the time is right.

But, equally, waste no time nurturing the self-delusion that moral or intellectual superiority lies in the pretense of democracy, the pretense that societies still embody what they once set out to represent. But we, most of us, insist on our certainty of the moral superiority of our own society because we have nowhere else to go. We cannot embrace our historical or geopolitical opponents’ rights to their own certainties.

But we do not know how best to reorganize our own society without the unthinkable collapse of that same democracy to force our actions.

The birth and death of states have been a preoccupation of scholars since humanity began to structure into durable communities. In 2006, I created—with the help of Greek Cypriot scholar Marios Evriviades—the words “cratocide” (the murder of nations) and “cratogenesis” (the birth of nations) for the book, “The Art of Victory.” Shortly afterward, we added the word “cratometamorphosis” to describe the total reorganization of societies.

Collapse is always the prerequisite to “cratometamorphosis.” Theoretically, this reorganization and revitalization of society should be feasible before total collapse creates a situation when no other option is available. But the very safeguards we have put in place over decades and centuries to protect our present structures also safeguard the corrupted wreckage they have become.

So if, as it appears, many societies—and by no means only those that thought of themselves as democratic—are waiting painfully for that total collapse so that they may be free to recreate themselves “closer to the heart’s desire,” then why is little thought given to that future society, that utopia?

During the years of difficulty that beset so many during the Industrial Revolutions, new concepts were conjured, speculatively, out of whole ideals. There were also years of uncertainty in societies in flux, during which new belief systems were devised.

These religions and ideologies all rippled down the ages and continue to inspire followers, often in the face of historical evidence that they failed here and there but were never revised to truly meet new requirements. Indeed, modern democracy itself—mirroring several iterations in the Hellenic states and earlier in the Indus Valley civilizations over the past 10,000 years—was just such a “revivalist creed,” and its new advocates failed to understand (or even question) why, in its earlier iterations, it had ultimately collapsed.

Is it possible that at our present impasse, there is some belief that technology—artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and so on—will define or create a new social framework? Have we, in so embracing “technology,” outsourced responsibility for devising ways in which humans can best work together? Certainly, technology has enabled the implementation of mass guidance of vast numbers of the human population, like the “murmuration of starlings,” the uncanny, but now understood, mass coordination of flocks of starlings in flight.

This “mass guidance” of humans is the mass psychosis tendency, a fundamental self-protection mechanism in human behavior designed to create herd protection.

That mass psychosis, of course, is what we saw during the COVID-19 crisis. However, it presupposes that human societies can be made to walk willingly and fatalistically toward the scenario outlined in the book, “1984,” by George Orwell. It may be man’s good fortune that economic dislocations—now being evidenced in the tremblors that shake the values of currencies and the viability of major economies—will gradually erode the pace of technological progress, enabling human society to regroup on more elemental or human lines.

To “start again” with new concepts for societal organization—governance—will inevitably involve considering concepts that, whether we realize it or not, have probably been played out before. However, it would be ideal to recognize that the framework begins with the sovereignty of each individual and the requirement for each individual to respect each other individually to achieve progress and human reproduction.

At least that optimistic framework can reemerge for a while until we see politics once more fatalistically reach the point where all respect is once again lost, and the desire for power outweighs the desire for societal wellbeing.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/29/2024 - 23:15

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