Saturday, July 08, 2006

Top Montana truckers will move on to nationals

Jim Butler of Joliet was named the best professional truck driver in Montana after receiving the highest overall score at the 2006 Montana Truck Driving Championships.

The annual event is sponsored by the Montana Motor Carriers Association Inc.

Butler, who works for FedEx Ground, now qualifies to compete in the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships, which take place Aug. 15-19 in New Orleans.

The winners from each of the eight categories at the state championship also are eligible for the national championships.

They are: Casey Dubbs of Yellow Transportation, straight truck; Reese Butler of FedEx Ground, three-axle; John Harris of USF Reddaway, four-axle; Buzz Hatwigg of USF Reddaway, five-axle; Alden Wock of Watkins and Shepard Inc., five-axle sleeper; Kale Kapple of Yellow Transportation, tankers; Bryce Campbell of Con-way Freight, flatbed; and Butler, twins.

YRC Worldwide Schedules Second Quarter Conference Call

YRC Worldwide Inc. will host a conference call for shareholders and the investment community on Friday, July 28, 2006, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, 8:30 a.m. CT. Second quarter earnings will be released Thursday, July 27, 2006 after the market close.

Hosting the teleconference will be: Bill Zollars - Chairman, President and CEO, YRC Worldwide; Don Barger - Sr. Vice President and CFO, YRC Worldwide; Jim Staley - President, YRC Regional Transportation; James Welch - President, Yellow Transportation; Mike Smid - President, Roadway; and Jim Ritchie - President, Meridian IQ.

Investors and analysts should dial 1.888.609.3912 at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. The Conference ID number is 1605043. The conference call will be open to listeners through a live webcast via StreetEvents at and via the YRC Worldwide Internet site .

Investor lunch: Bill Zollars, Don Barger and Phil Gaines - Sr. Vice President of Investor Relations, will also host an investor lunch on Friday, July 28, 2006 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET in New York. Interested investors should e-mail for reservations and lunch details no later than Friday, July 14, 2006.

An audio playback of the teleconference will be available beginning two hours after the call ends until midnight on August 11, 2006, by dialing 1.800.642.1687 and then entering the access code 1605043. An audio playback also will be available for 30 days after the call via the StreetEvents and the YRC Worldwide web sites.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Truckers to Deliver in Q2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Most analysts expect a strong second quarter from the trucking industry, carried by particularly bright results from less-than-truckload carriers.

Confidence in the less-than-truckload segment _ those specialized haulers that don't always load trucks to capacity _ got a boost last month when YRC Worldwide Inc. and Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. pre-announced that quarterly earnings would be better than previously forecast.

YRC Worldwide, the No. 2 carrier in the segment in terms of market capitalization behind Con-Way Inc., said it expects earnings of between $1.49 and $1.54 per share, compared with previous estimates of $1.45 to $1.50. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial presently expect $1.54 per share, on average.

Old Dominion, the segment's No. 4 carrier, raised profit expectations to between 50 cents and 52 cents per share from 43 cents to 46 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial presently expect quarterly earnings of 51 cents.

"We've heard similar accounts from other companies in the less-than-truckload segment that haven't pre-reported," said David Ross, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus.

YRC Worldwide and Old Dominion are slated to report on July 24. Continued...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

UPS open door for union at truck unit seen smart

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc.'s recent decision not to block union attempts to organize its nonunion trucking unit is a gamble analysts said may improve its position in labor contract talks due to start soon.

Analysts said the decision could lead to unionization of less-than truckload (LTL) unit UPS Freight with its 17,000 employees, but added that might not be a bad thing.

Although unionized trucking LTL companies are seen as less flexible and less profitable than their nonunion counterparts, analysts note that UPS faces talks with 230,000 unionized employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and may need to show the union it is willing to compromise.

"It seems they are trying to garner good will for the larger contract negotiations that lie ahead," said Peter Smith, an analyst at Morningstar. "If the union feels they are getting a good reception from UPS, it may make them more open to talk."

LTL companies consolidate small loads into a single truck.

Atlanta-based UPS agreed last week to a Teamsters request to move forward talks on the current contract, which is due to expire August 1 2008, and the talks should begin within 40 days.

The world's largest package delivery company also gave the Teamsters a "card check" agreement, under which the union could try to organize a UPS Freight truck terminal and UPS would not block it. If they succeeded, the Teamsters would target other terminals.

"This is a historic victory," said Teamsters spokeswoman Leigh Strope. "Overnite was extremely anti-union, but we have a good relationship with UPS." Continued...

Reimer Family patriarch dies

Frank Reimer, a man who helped his son launch what would become one of Canada's largest and most successful LTL trucking fleets, passed away last week.
Reimer, who with his son Donald started Reimer Express Lines in 1952, died one day after celebrating his 98th birthday.

While he primarily ran a feed mill and popular food supermarket in Steinbach, Man., Frank kick-started the trucking company by arranging loans for Donald, then 19, who started Reimer Express in 1952.

"If he hadn't had that reputation with the banks, Reimer Express Lines would likely not have been launched," son Gerald Reimer tells Canadian Press.

Reimer began mainly as a supplemental business to the grocery store -- hauling the store's own goods from Winnipeg to Steinbach. But without a railway through Steinbach, Donald recognized opportunity in hauling goods on a for-hire basis and later expanded the company into one of the first true long-haul operations in Canada.

Reimer's original route was between Winnipeg and Windsor, Ont. at a time when almost all east-west traffic moved via rail.

The Reimer family sold the trucking company to U.S.-based Roadway Express Inc. in 1997, which merged with worldwide trucking giant Yellow Corp. in 2003. Today, Reimer is one of Canada's 15 largest for-hire carriers, with a fleet of over 2,000 power units, operating mainly LTL loads across North America. It also provides logistics solutions for import and export shipments.

SCS to sell Jevic, move headquarters to Georgia

SCS Transportation Inc. has found a buyer for its troubled Jevic Transportation Inc. subsidiary in a deal that will move the trucking holding company’s headquarters to Georgia from Kansas City.

An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm, has acquired Jevic for $40 million. Jevic, based in Delanco, N.J., is a hybrid truckload and less-than-truckload carrier that has struggled and negatively affected SCS’s earnings over the past several quarters.

Bert Trucksess, chairman and chief executive of SCS, said the sale allows the company to focus on Saia Motor Freight Line Inc., an LTL carrier based in Duluth, Ga. Saia has continued to perform well for SCS during Jevic’s struggles.

With SCS becoming a holding company with one unit, Trucksess said the company will eventually change its name to Saia.

In addition, SCS’s administrative headquarters in Kansas City will be closed by the end of the year, Trucksess said. The administrative office has seven employees, and Trucksess said he and another executive are the only ones moving to work in Duluth.

Saia has a terminal in Kansas City with about 120 employees that will continue operating.

Also at year’s end, Trucksess will take on a non-executive chairman role with the company. Rick O’Dell, Saia’s president, will succeed him as CEO of the holding company. O’Dell also was named president of SCS today.

O’Dell has been Saia president for six years and is a natural successor to the top post, Trucksess said.

“I had recommended Rick for this role, whether we stayed a multi-carrier company or became single-segment carrier,” Trucksess said. “He is a very talented and very capable individual.”

SCS Transportation was formed in 2002 when YRC Worldwide Inc. (then called Yellow Corp.) spun off its regional trucking units. Trucksess has been its only chairman and chief executive.

In January, Starboard Value and Opportunity Fund Ltd., one of SCS’s biggest shareholders, suggested the company sell Jevic to boost shareholder value. SCS eventually hired an investment firm to explore strategic alternatives, leading to Friday’s announcement.

SCS had $1.1 billion in revenue in 2005.

In trading on the Nasdaq, SCS shares closed down 18 cents at $27.53. Shares were up 18 cents to $27.71 in early after-hours trading.

Arkansas Trucking Stocks See Big Gains

Those who own shares of Arkansas trucking companies have even more reason to celebrate the July 4 holiday.

Shares of P.A.M. Transportation Services Inc. (NASDAQ :PTSI) closed Monday at $30.25, up $1.36 and breaking through a 52-week high of $28.96. Shares of the Tontitown-based trucking company have gained 20.3 percent in the past 10 trading days.

Shares of Fort Smith-based Arkansas Best Corp. (NASDAQ: ABFS) closed Monday at $50.57, up 36 cents and also setting a new 52-week high. The share price of the less-than-truckload trucking company is up more than 18 percent since June 1.

Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. shares (NASDAQ: JBHT) closed Monday at $25.53, up 62 cents and near a 52-week high of $25.90.

Van Buren-based USA Truck Inc. shares (NASDAQ: USAK) closed Monday at $19.20, up $1.38, or more than 7.7 percent. However, USA Truck shares are on the rebound after falling from a 52-week high of $32.

Industry analyst David G. Ross of Stifel Nicolaus said in a report dated June 28 that the trucking sector has had a good first half of 2006 and now enters its strongest months. Recent optimism from executives within FedEx's freight unit, and positive comments from Arkansas Best and YRC Worldwide Inc. are driving interest in trucking stocks, according to Ross.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Global Solidarity Pledged to Support Organizing the Global Supply Chain

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe Convention of the
International Brotherhood of Teamsters unanimously passed a resolution on
"Organizing the Global Supply Chain," representatives from transport unions
in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Australia joined Teamsters
General President James Hoffa in a show of solidarity and support.
"Teamsters are uniquely positioned to dominate the global supply chain
in the United States. That's why we are aggressively organizing in the air
cargo, ports, rail, freight and parcel delivery links in the chain," Hoffa
The Teamsters Union has the opportunity to combine their strength with
unions around the world to take on the global transportation companies like
UPS, FedEx, TNT and DHL to ensure that the workers who move the goods along
the chain have a voice.
"Workers in Australia deal with the same global companies," said Tony
Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union of Australia.
"We recognize the need for a global collective response and we are proud to
add our voice and our strength to the struggle alongside the Teamsters."
"Our union has a long history with DHL and we understand the stakes
involved for workers in dealing with this changing world economy," said
Rolf Buttner, Federal Executive of Germany's United Services Union, ver.di.
"We must stand together across the globe to make sure that workers'
interests and rights are protected and strengthened."
"Transport workers in Great Britain stand shoulder to shoulder with our
brothers and sisters in the Teamsters," said Steve Turner, National
Secretary for Transport of the Transport and General Workers Union of Great
Britain. "None of us can stand alone in our countries and take on the
global corporations who are changing the face of transport across the
world. We will stand together for workers and for our collective future."
"We are involved in struggles with multi-national companies on a daily
basis. We have received help from and given help to the Teamsters and other
international unions," said Brenden Hayes, Vice President of Ireland's
largest union, Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union
(SIPTU). "We recognize that on our own we are easy prey for corporate
vultures. Together we can win for working people. We support your great
union in your struggle."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Teamsters Convention Closes With Ambitious Plans For Future Growth

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters closed its 27th International Convention today with unprecedented solidarity and determination to embark on the ambitious goals set this week to expand Teamster power.

"We are moving forward together," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "We have accomplished so much because we are united like never before and we are stronger than ever before. But there's more to do. We are changing to grow and we will not rest until we have won our fight."

More than 7,000 Teamster delegates, retirees and guests gathered in Las Vegas this week under the banner of "Moving Forward Together" to tackle a range of constitutional and policy issues that set the future course of the 1.4 million-member Teamsters Union.

The week's accomplishments were particularly impressive with the major announcement of a card-check agreement at UPS Freight that will provide a massive boost to the Teamsters organizing efforts at the former Overnight Transportation. Also announced was an agreement by UPS to the Teamsters' demand for early negotiations for the 2008 National Master United Parcel Service Agreement. UPS Teamsters sought early negotiations to ensure protection of their retirement and health care benefits.

Convention delegates ratified a number of resolutions to set priorities for the union, including:

* Building a mighty army of Teamster organizers
* Continuing the successful fight to keep the border closed to unsafe
Mexican trucks
* Organizing the DHL delivery system
* Organizing Quebecor World workers
* Fighting to protect Teamsters' retirement security
* Organizing port drivers
* Organizing Cintas Corp. workers
* Fighting for strong contracts that set industry standards
* Organizing school bus workers

Among the distinguished guests addressing the convention were former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, (D-NC); U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, (D-DE); U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, (R-MI); actor Kiefer Sutherland; radio show host and comedian Al Franken; and actor Danny Glover. The convention also featured Teamster members and workers fighting to become Teamsters.

Sector Snap: Trucking Stocks Rally

Shares of trucking stocks rose briskly Thursday along with the broader market, as investors looked toward an anticipated strong second half for the sector.

Package carrier FedEx Corp. was among the largest gainers, as shares rose $1.66 to $114.63 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Its chief competitor, UPS Inc., added $1.06 to $82.26 on the Big Board. Among truckers, Arkansas Best Corp. was up $1.42, or 3 percent, to $48.16 on the Nasdaq, and Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. jumped $1.04, or 2.9 percent, to $35.98 on the Nasdaq.

David G. Ross, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore, said investors in the sector have realized that resilient consumers can offset a slowdown in the housing market.

"What we're seeing today is a sign that people have realized the world isn't coming to an end in the transportation sector, despite all the doom and gloom out there," Ross said.

Ross added that investors are looking back on what was a bright first half for the sector, and know that its strongest months still lie ahead.

"September, October and November are peak months for the industry and capacity will only get tighter," he said, noting that 5 percent to 10 percent of the industry's fleet is parked because of a shortage of qualified drivers. And with consumers still spending more than they earn, capacity constraints could translate into even greater pricing power.

Recent optimism from executives within FedEx's freight unit, and positive earnings preannouncements from Arkansas Best and YRC Worldwide Inc. are also likely driving the sector's activity, he said.

The broader market also provided a boost. In late morning trading the Dow Industrial surged 113.50 points, or 1.03 percent, to 11,087.06. Experts cited better-than-anticipated news that the Gross Domestic Product, perhaps the No. 1 barometer for the economy, zipped ahead in the first quarter at clip of 5.6 percent. Consumer spending, business spending and company profits were also higher in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter of 2005.

VML Launches Redesigned Website for Yellow Racing

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting VML, a WPP company based in Kansas City, Missouri,and one of the world's leading marketing technology companies, announced today the redesign and launch of Yellow Racing's new website, Yellow Transportation also recently selected VML as the new public relations agency for its NASCAR Busch Series sponsorship. With the full range of marketing services under one roof, VML has created a seamless solution to managing both the public relations and online communications efforts for Yellow Racing.

"VML has a firm understanding of our business, technology innovation, and sports management capabilities," said Eric Kenney, Director of Marketing Communications for Yellow. "It was a natural fit to have them design, and their promotion of our NASCAR Busch Series sponsorship has enhanced the program."

According to Matt Anthony, VML's CEO, the agency's new relationship with Yellow Racing will allow VML to integrate the NASCAR experience with the Yellow customer experience online. "The most loyal fan base in the world can now experience Yellow Transportation both online and at the event," said Anthony. "On the flip side, Yellow customers will be able to experience the sport like never before."

Since February, VML's Sponsorship and Events group has managed national and local public relations efforts for the Yellow Transportation sponsorship of the #00 NASCAR Busch Series car driven by Johnny Sauter. VML provides strategic planning for both internal and external communications as well as day-to-day public relations management including at-track support for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season.

"The results have been very positive," said Kenney. "VML is working closely with our race team, and other partner agencies and media outlets to maximize the positive exposure for Yellow Racing over the rest of the racing season."

YRC Worldwide, the parent company for Yellow Transportation, has been a valued VML client for more than seven years with a successful relationship based on true partnership. "Over the years VML has developed a thorough understanding of the transportation industry, and we're proud to have been part of the team helping to build YRC Worldwide into the most respected company in its industry," said Anthony.