Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fuel Surcharge Lawsuit Runs out of Gas

Shippers drop class action suit for lack of evidence

A group of 11 shippers dropped their class action lawsuit alleging the nation’s largest less-than-truckload carriers conspired to fix fuel surcharge prices.

The lawsuit, filed in July 2007 by Farm Water Technological Services, further claimed that the carriers -- which included FedEx Freight, UPS Freight, ABF Freight System, Con-way Freight, and Old Dominion Freight Line -- recouped “much more” than their fuel cost increases and that the fuel surcharges became profit centers for the carriers.

A federal court in Georgia dismissed the case for lack of evidence in January. The plaintiffs had until March 16 to amend their complaint, which they dropped.
“They gave up,” said an attorney representing one of the carriers. “The judge’s order made it clear that to file a complaint that would justify the case moving forward, the plaintiffs needed actual facts that would lead a reasonable person to conclude some conspiracy existed. Clearly the plaintiffs had no such facts.”

In his decision, Judge William S. Duffey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia concluded the plaintiffs’ allegations “do not show enough facts for the Court to find that agreement (among the carriers) was plausible. What the allegations show instead is that all LTL service providers had the same incentives to charge the same shipping rates, and that over time they eventually each did so."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Louisiana YRC Driver Named Twin Trailers Champion in State Competition

YRC Driver Stacy Sansom of Shreveport, La. (510), has won his class, Twin Trailers, at the April 3–4 Louisiana State Truck Driving Championships in Baton Rouge. Sansom also received an award for a perfect score on the pre-trip inspection portion of the competition.

He is Truck Driver of the Year for Louisiana and has participated in past National Truck Driving Championships competitions, including the 2008 competition in Houston.

Sansom will represent Louisiana and YRC at the 2009 National Truck Driving Championships from Aug. 17-22 in Pittsburgh.

Yellow Canada, Reimer Express integrated into YRC Reimer

Reimer Express Lines and Yellow Canada have been merged into a “single market facing brand” to be known as YRC Reimer, YRC Worldwide has announced.

The company says the move will offer Canadian customers advantages due to the integration of the YRC network, such as simplified access to “flexible, efficient solutions.”

”We are excited to be an integral part of the Roadway and Yellow networks in the US, creating the single most comprehensive network throughout North America,” said Clayton Gording, president, YRC Reimer. “This is truly a game changing event for our company and our industry, and I’m proud that the successful integration of several Canadian service centers served as the pilot for the recent YRC integration across North America.”

The company says the name change will not impact the company’s working relationships. A new logo will be phased into operations, but in the meantime company equipment and buildings will continue to maintain current “heritage” brand names, the company says.

YRC sees up to $185 mln in charges; stock plummets

U.S. truck firm YRC Worldwide Inc said on Tuesday it expects to report first-quarter charges of up to $185 million due to ongoing restructuring of its network and the faltering U.S. economy, sending its shares down 20 percent.

In a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, YRC said the charges include severance pay and pension settlements.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based company also said that daily freight tonnage in its U.S. national network was down 29 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

The U.S. trucking sector has suffered from weak freight volumes since the third quarter of 2006 due to a combination of weak retail and auto sales, the meltdown of the housing sector and the decline of the overall economy.

This has forced truckers to slash prices to compete for business.

YRC has had additional problems of its own because of over-capacity in its network following a couple of big acquisitions in 2003 and 2005.

The company has slashed jobs, closed facilities and its unionized workers agreed to more flexible conditions. They approved a 10 percent wage cut in January in return for 15 percent stake in the company.

In February the company also finalized an amendment with its lenders on its credit facilities, a step seen by analysts as crucial to avoiding collapse.

In its filing on Tuesday, YRC said it expects to have 400 facilities by the end of 2009, compared with 521 at the end of 2008.

The company plans capital expenditures of $130 million, and said they could reach a maximum of $150 million.

YRC said it still expects to raise around $100 million in excess property sales in 2009, with $18 million raised in the first quarter.

Monday, April 06, 2009

YRC Worldwide Expands Partnership with Leading Transportation Industry Organization Women in Trucking, Inc.

Collaboration designed to promote best-in-class diversity, recruiting, hiring and workplace practices for all carriers

YRC Worldwide Inc. announced today a partnership with Women in Trucking, Inc., a leading transportation industry organization established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize the obstacles they face. Through best-in-class programs and initiatives, YRC Worldwide and Women in Trucking aim to address the real and perceived barriers that exist in the transportation industry, particularly for women.

"YRC Worldwide is proud to work collaboratively with Women in Trucking," said Jim Kissinger, YRC Worldwide Executive Vice President of Human Resources. "By doing so, we're better able to explore and address the industry-wide misconceptions that have historically discouraged women from considering transportation as a career. As the LTL industry leader, we're genuinely committed to fostering a more diverse workforce."

The partnership includes:

*Additional memberships for 25 female YRC Worldwide drivers to Women in Trucking. In addition, Maggie Peterson, a YRC professional driver, already serves as a Women in Trucking board member.

*Joint development and administration of a national survey of women truck drivers on workplace issues such as driver training, safety, job satisfaction and other issues
Discussion with the travel center industry about the possibility of developing a scoring system for truck stops around the country detailing cleanliness, safety, and other relevant issues raised by the survey

*Expansion of current recruiting programs to encourage the interest and hiring of women across a variety of positions, including dock workers and drivers

*Improved training benchmarks and programs designed to improve hiring and the work environment for women

*Development of information addressing safety issues for female truck drivers. Pamphlets will be available for use throughout the trucking industry, including truck stops and distribution to YRC Worldwide female drivers.

*Outreach to major truck stops on interstate highways to encourage a more female-friendly environment, specifically improvements in cleanliness, safety, and bathroom/shower facilities

*A continuing spotlight on the achievements of YRC Worldwide female drivers

In addition to the partnership with Women in Trucking, Kissinger added that YRC Worldwide intends to continue and improve support for minorities and veterans as well.

"We are pleased to be a part of the YRC Worldwide initiatives to create a more driver-friendly environment for both men and women in the trucking industry, especially the issues that have been identified as priorities for women," said Ellen Voie, President and CEO of Women in Trucking, Inc. "These include safety and security, convenience and amenities, but more importantly, these initiatives will help women find opportunities and success in a currently male-dominated industry."

YRC Worldwide has traditionally partnered with grassroots agencies, like Women in Trucking, to further company diversity goals, gain expert perspectives and ideas, and implement programs. One such program, Diversity Days, provides an opportunity for leaders of good faith agencies, like the YWCA and the NAACP, to visit YRC Worldwide facilities, talk with employees and get to know the company before recommending new recruits.