Thursday, July 17, 2008

Teamsters Commend Senate for Moving on High Fuel Costs

Hoffa Urges Swift Action on Curbing Energy Speculators

The Teamsters on Wednesday applauded the Senate leadership for moving forward on legislation to crack down on greedy oil speculators.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sponsored the Stop Excessive Speculation Act, which limits the unrestrained speculation that contributes to rising fuel prices.

"These fuel prices are a disaster for Teamsters and their families," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "People are feeling the bite every time they fill their gas tank or buy groceries. Their employers are struggling to cope with these high costs, whether they're delivery companies, freight haulers, school districts or airlines.

"I'm grateful that Sen. Reid understands how badly American workers are hurting, and that he's doing something about it before Congress goes to recess," Hoffa said.
Teamsters Airline Division Director Capt. David Bourne said airline workers are particularly hard hit by the high cost of oil.

"Airlines will simply shut down if oil were to stay above $140 a barrel," Bourne said. "We have 40,000 airline and aviation employees, and they're worried about their jobs."

The bill, S.3268, brings common-sense regulation to the unregulated energy futures market.

It would make the over-the-counter markets subject to transparency requirements and make sure that no one can control the market.

The bill was also sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rialto City Council approves UPS Freight warehouse

A vacant 39.2-acre property in the northern part of town will be developed as a freight warehouse for United Parcel Service, a project that the Rialto City Council approved at its meeting Tuesday.

The land, at the southwestern corner of Locust Avenue and Lowell Street, will become the site of a 143,391-square-foot UPS freight terminal, according to a written report by Michael Story, the city's director of Development Services.

City Councilman Joe Baca Jr. and Councilwoman Deborah Robertson were absent from the meeting, but the other three members approved the project without comment.

By its vote, the council certified an environmental impact report that reviewed the effects -- such as increased traffic the warehouse would generate in the area -- and determined that the various concerns had been adequately addressed by the development plan.

Outside the meeting, a UPS representative said the company chose the Rialto site because of its proximity to local freeways, freight railroad tracks and Ontario International Airport.

The site is north of Highway 210, between the Alder Avenue and Ayala Drive connections to the freeway. The stretch of the 210 through Rialto and San Bernardino opened last summer.

UPS hopes to begin construction in 2009 and complete the one-story warehouse in 2010, said William Esquer, a UPS project manager based in the company's West Coast regional office in Laguna Hills.

The warehouse would replace a UPS freight facility in Fontana, said Esquer, who is overseeing the Rialto development.

That freight and those workers would be transferred to the new site, a few blocks northwest of Carter High School. The Rialto freight facility is expected to employ an additional 200 people, beyond the number of workers at the Fontana warehouse, Esquer said.

The Rialto Planning Commission reviewed the proposal at its June 11 meeting and concluded the development wouldn't bring negative repercussions to the neighborhood or to the city.

Just a few miles east of the Rialto property, Highway 210 connects with northbound Interstate 215 in San Bernardino -- which leads to the Cajon Pass, a major trucking route.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

YRC counts on “Velocity Network” on return to profitability

YRC Worldwide, parent of three of the nation’s largest LTL carriers accounting to more than one-fourth of the $33.6 billion LTL sector, is counting on speed to return to profitability after two quarters of losses.

With the launch of its new “Velocity Network” designed to enable YRC to compete with the best non-union regional carriers, it is cutting transit times on more than 30,000lanes at Yellow Transportation, Roadway and USF Holland. Most of the service improvements are east of the Mississippi River, but YRC officials say expanding on the West Coast is coming as well.

Mike Smid, president and CEO of YRC North American Transportation, says the changes position the YRC-affiliated companies to compete better in a changing LTL environment.

He said only 30 percent of its business comes from “traditional” LTL freight that was suited to the old hub-and-spoke network system. Smid says customers increasingly are asking for additional services, tighter delivery windows or consolidation or other services.

“Our entire network moves on a time-based system,” Smid explained. “That does two things. It makes us more consistent and it gives us tremendous support for our premium services. It also makes us considerably more nimble and considerably more reliable.”

Service is cut by at least one day for more than 15 percent of YRC’s 150,000 shipments a day handled by all its operating companies. YRC officials say the new configuration reduces shipment handling and eliminates approximately 20 million line-haul miles annually for a savings of $40 million.

That’s because YRC companies are moving away from the traditional, outdated hub-and-spoke system where, as Smid said, “In a lot of situations, we had to go east to go west.”

YRC’s changes evolved from its most recent labor negotiations with the Teamsters union, which represents some 66,000 YRC workers. YRC Chairman, President and CEO William Zollars calls the new labor pact “a game-changer” that has effected many internal changes. One is the creation of a new “utility worker” category. For $1 an hour more in wages, these workers can drive a truck one day and work the dock the next—flexibility long sought by unionized carriers to compete with the likes of Con-way, Estes Express, Southeastern and other top non-union regional specialists.

Complete Story.....