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Trucking company Yellow is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter, heightening the threat that one of the nation’s largest freight carriers will shut down as customers abandon it amid a cash crunch and union negotiations.

A bankruptcy filing by Yellow would put it at high risk of a liquidation since its customers already have started to abandon the trucker in large numbers, some of the people said. The company could seek bankruptcy court protection as soon as this week, though no decision has been made and Yellow continues to explore other options, they said.

A Yellow representative said Wednesday that “in keeping with the fiduciary responsibility of the company’s executives, the company continues to prepare for a range of contingencies.”

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