Saturday, August 30, 2008

YRC Worldwide cuts 200 non-union jobs

YRC announces layoffs

YRC Worldwide Inc. has eliminated about 200 non-union jobs around the country amid declining business. Bill Zollars, YRC’s chairman and chief executive, told Bloomberg News that layoffs occurred “to make sure our infrastructure is commensurate with business volumes.”

YRC, the country’s biggest trucking company, based in Overland Park, did not break out the job cuts by location. YRC eliminated about 100 non-union and salaried jobs earlier this year as the company struggled to cope with a slowing economy.

It has about 60,000 total employees, including about 15,000 non-union workers. After posting two straight quarters of losses, YRC posted a profit in the second quarter and has forecast profits for the third.

The company also has had turnover among senior executives in recent months, including the departure earlier this month of chief financial officer Stephen Bruffett. He joined rival carrier Con-way Inc. as senior vice president and CFO.

YRC also laid off about 1,100 hourly drivers and dockworkers from its regional operations early this year in an effort to improve operational efficiency.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DOT Refuses to Stop DHL Move

The U.S. Department of Transportation will not block DHL in its attempt to hire UPS to handle its domestic air cargo.

Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters informed Ohio Governor Ted Strickland that the German-owned express carrier's attempt to restructure does not constitute an unfair or deceptive practice or an unfair method of competition.

Strickland and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher had asked Peters in July to investigate the action. The state of Ohio stands to lose more than 8,000 jobs if DHL closes its hub in Wilmington, Ohio. ABX Air and ASTAR Air Cargo currently use the hub to fly domestic cargo for DHL, but they are being phased out as the company seeks to turn around its U.S. operations, which lost more than $1 billion last year. The state offered tax breaks to DHL in 2004, when the company decided to consolidate operations at the Wilmington hub.

"While I understand your concerns over Deutsche Post AG's proposed restructuring of DHL, it is our view that this restructuring would not constitute an unfair or deceptive practice or an unfair method of competition," Peters wrote in an Aug. 15 letter to Strickland and Fisher. "The department's regulations do not impose restrictions on a foreign air freight forwarder's choice of U.S. carrier to transport its cargo."

Ohio has also asked the Department of Justice to investigate the move on the grounds it may violate anti-trust regulations. However, Justice cannot investigate prior to a finalized agreement between DHL and UPS.

Monday, August 25, 2008

UPS Drivers Honored at National Driving Championships

Danny Drewery led a parade of nine company drivers to top 20 finishes in the American Trucking Associations’ 71st National Truck Driving Championships held here this week.

Drewery, who drives out of UPS Freight’s Memphis, Tenn., Service Center, finished second in the Flatbed division. The runner-up spot marked Drewery’s top placement in seven appearances in the Nationals. Last year, he finished eighth in the same division.

Separately, UPS Freight driver Clarence Jenkins received ATA’s highest individual honor, the Neil Darmstadtler Professional Excellence Award, for his lifetime commitment to safety and promoting the trucking industry.

Jenkins, who has 32 years of accident-free driving to his credit and is currently a member of the ATA’s National Road Team, won his record 13th West Virginia State Championship this year. He also captured a national title in 1988. Jenkins is the third company driver to be honored with ATA’s Professional Excellence Award. Roger Lanham, who won in 2000, and Bob Akers, who won in 2003, were both in attendance as Jenkins joined the industry’s elite group of honorees.

Other top company placements in the Nationals, which brings state champions in eight divisions to the competition, included UPS Freight drivers Alan Graham, Richfield, Ohio, fourth in the Tanker division; John Hummel, Gaffney, S.C., eighth in the Sleeper division; Ralph Gragg, Charleston, W.Va., 11th in Tanker; Anthony Chestnut, Jacksonville, Fla., 14th in Flatbed; David Warner, Charleston, W.Va., 15th in Sleeper; Roger Lanham, Charleston, W.Va., 17th in 5-Axle; David Edwards, Memphis, 17th in Twins division; and Dennis Martin, Gaffney, 19th in Twins.

UPS Minnesota feeder driver Carl Myers captured the championships’ Vehicle Condition Award after registering a perfect score on the pre-trip safety inspection segment of the championships. Myers, a member of UPS’s Circle of Honor with 27 years of safe driving, was making his sixth trip to the Nationals this year.

UPS Freight Atlanta driver Scott Cain, representing his state in the Sleeper division, aided Georgia in capturing the state driving title during the championships.

In all, a record 33 UPS and UPS Freight drivers represented the company at the national championships, which drew 375 state driving titleholders under one roof.

The 33 have collectively accumulated 110 state titles and logged more than 500 years of accident-free driving. The championships test difficult driving skills, maneuvering tests, equipment inspections and exams covering safety policies and regulations.

UPS Freight Improves Transit Times to Draw Major Markets Closer

UPS Freight today announced improved transit times on more than 1,200 traffic lanes originating in the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This marks the second time in just four months that the heavy freight division of UPS has enhanced its network.

“These enhancements are part of a continual process to add value for customers by improving the velocity of our network,” said UPS Freight President Jack Holmes. “We have reduced transit times on more than 10,000 lanes in the last 18 months.”

New two-day lanes now in effect include Chicago to Dallas, Boston to St. Louis and Philadelphia to Miami. The enhancements also expand the next-day footprint of UPS Freight. Shipments moving from Cincinnati to Memphis and Columbus, Ohio, to Charlotte, N.C., now will deliver overnight.

Other originating major markets with reduced transit times include Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York City and Newark, N.J. The faster transit times will bring cities as far as southern California, Arizona and Utah to within two and three days of these originating cities.

Earlier this year, UPS Freight announced new on-time performance guarantees. Those guarantees will be extended to the enhanced transit times announced today at no additional cost.

“With the economy still in the doldrums, diesel prices rising to record levels and capacity issues emerging in the trucking industry, shippers need the guaranteed transportation services and technology tools provided by UPS to successfully run their businesses,” added Holmes.

In May, UPS Freight announced it had improved transit times on nearly 1,000 traffic lanes originating in metropolitan areas in the Southwest and Southeast to points across the United States.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

YRC Worldwide Subsidiary Drivers Capture two National Champion Titles at the 2008 National Truck Driving Championships

USF Holland driver Herschel Evans Placed 1st in the 5-Axle Class Roadway driver Vic Wheeler Placed 1st in the 3-Axle Class

The operating companies of YRC Worldwide announced today that two drivers have captured National Champion titles in their respective classes at the 2008 National Truck Driving Championships held August 19-23 in Houston, TX. Herschel Evans, city driver for USF Holland, was named National Champion in the 5-Axle Class. Vic Wheeler, linehaul driver for Roadway was named National Champion in the 3-Axle Class.

Evans has worked for USF Holland for 14 1/2 years and has been in the industry for 21years. Based in Atlanta, GA, Evans has competed at the state level for 2 years and won both times in 2006 and 2008. In 2008, he won the 5-Axle Class State Champion. At the state competition in 2006, Evans placed first in the 5-Axle Class, was named Rookie of the Year and Grand Champion.

Wheeler has worked for Roadway for 3 years and has been in the industry for 23 years. Based in Salt Lake City, UT, Wheeler has competed at the state level in the 3-Axle Class for 7 years. Wheeler has been named Utah State Grand Champion three times, including this year and has competed at nationals three times. For the past two years Wheeler has been named the State Grand Champion.

Other top performers for YRC Worldwide subsidiaries were:
-- Bruce Amor, Roadway driver based in South Bend, IN placed 3rd in the 3-Axle Class.
-- Neil Nogues, Yellow Transportation driver based in Manchester, New Hampshire placed 3rd in the 4-Axle Class.
-- Jerry Richman, Yellow Transportation driver based in Clarksburg, West Virginia placed 2nd in the Twins Class.

"All of our drivers who participated in the national competition are among the nation's safest drivers," said Mike Smid, President and CEO of YRC North American Transportation. "The championships are always very competitive and we applaud our drivers on their exemplary performance. They demonstrate their dedication to professionalism and safety every single mile they drive."

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsored The National Truck Driving Championships, also known as the "Super Bowl of Safety," where drivers competed against nearly 400 others for national titles in eight different classes of vehicles for the National Grand Champion title. The drivers accumulated points by demonstrating their driving skills and knowledge of the trucking industry through a series of tests. The drivers were also given a written examination, personal interview, pre-trip inspection test and a skills test.

To compete at the national competition, drivers must be accident-free for the 12 months leading up to the event and place first in the state-level driving championship.

In total, YRC Worldwide subsidiaries sent 69 drivers to the 2008 National Truck Driving Championships.

Obama picks Michigan truck driver to speak at the DNC

As a nod to union workers, Sen. Barack Obama has chosen a Teamsters union official from Taylor, Michigan, to speak at the National Democratic Convention the night Obama accepts the party’s nomination for president.

The union worker, Roy Gross, is a truck driver who spoke at Obama’s Warren rally in May. There, Gross outlined the troubles he’s facing as a blue collar worker in Michigan.

On August 28th, Gross will address over 75,000 Democrats at Invesco Field in Denver with a message about his struggles working in Michigan’s weak economy.

This is a pretty strategic choice for Obama. He wants to send out a strong message to union workers that he has their backs. Also, he wants people in places like Taylor, Michigan, which is part of Wayne County with a 84% white population, to feel that they have a stake in this race. Local newspapers in Taylor are loving it, I’m sure. This will give Obama a boost in Michigan this November.

Heritage Transport's Dennis R. Shirar Is 2008 National Truck Driving Grand Champion

Robert Romando, FedEx National LTL, Named National Rookie of the Year

Dennis R. Shirar, a Heritage Transport, LLC professional truck driver based in Indianapolis, Ind. was named the 2008 National Truck Driving Grand Champion. Shirar's driving skills and knowledge of transportation and truck safety information topped those of 375 other professional drivers from all across the United States in the National Truck Driving Championships, held in Houston, Texas. The 71st annual "Super Bowl of Safety" is sponsored by the American Trucking Associations.

In route to his title, Shirar has logged 30 accident and injury free years as a driver, with over 3 million miles behind the wheel. Shirar began competing in the National Truck Driving Championships in 1997, when he was named Indiana Rookie of the Year and placed second at Nationals in five-axle sleeper.

The contestants were the state champions in eight truck types from all 50 states. Collectively, they have driven 498,368,294 accident-free miles.

In their respective classes, drivers tested their expertise in the driving skills they use daily. The competition course inside Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center challenged their knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. The skills course tested drivers' ability to judge distances, maneuver tight spaces, reverse, park, and position their vehicle exactly over scales, before barriers or around curves.

"The National Truck Driving Championships showcase the industry's commitment to safety," said ATA President & CEO Bill Graves. "I applaud all the competitors for their efforts in making our highways safe, and congratulate Dennis for demonstrating how a dedication to safe driving skills can make you a Grand Champion." Shirar also won the individual straight truck driving competition.

Joining Shirar as champions in their respective classes:

Three-Axle: Victor K. Wheeler - Roadway (Bountiful, Utah)

Four-Axle: Ryan R. Kelley - FedEx Freight (Nora Springs, Iowa)

Five-Axle: Buner H. Evans - USF Holland (Bremen, Georgia)

Five-Axle Sleeper: Karl R. Bohrer - Wal-Mart Transportation (Katy, Texas)

Twins: Chris A. Mahony - FedEx Freight (Kearns, Utah)

Flatbed: Ben S. Moore, Jr. - Wal-Mart Transportation (Americus, Georgia)

Tank Truck: John A. Smith, Jr. - FedEx Ground (Mooreville, Mississippi)

Shirar succeeds Alphonso Lewis, a professional truck driver with Roadway, as the National Grand Champion.

Robert Romando, a three-axle driver for FedEx National LTL from Surprise, Ariz., was named 2008 Rookie of the Year. Romando, who has been a professional truck driver for 18 years and has over 700,000 miles of accident free driving.

The Georgia state truck driving championship team won honors as the highest scoring state team, followed by Indiana and West Virginia.

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