Thursday, August 04, 2011

National Truck Driving Championship Competition to Include 18 ABF Drivers

Championship drivers from 10 states will represent ABF at the 74th National Truck Driving Championships in Orlando, Fla., August 9-13, 2011. Professional drivers earn the right to compete in the National Championships by winning state driving championships and by maintaining accident-free driving records for the preceding year.

Among the competitors representing ABF are three-time National Champion John Hazlett (1994, 2000, 2007), who earned the highest score on the written test in the 2011 Pennsylvania competition, and two-time National Champion Tony Spero (2006, 2009). Competing as 2011 Grand Champions from their respective states will be ABF drivers Spero (Connecticut), David Wiechers (Missouri), and Chuck Smetzer (Maryland).

"ABF is extremely proud of our drivers who have earned the privilege to compete in this year's National Truck Driving Championships," said Sam Cates, ABF safety and security director. "These drivers are just a sampling of the many ABF professional drivers who safely deliver and protect the goods entrusted to us on a daily basis—providing unmatched value-added logistics solutions for our customers. The reputation ABF enjoys as a trusted supply-chain partner and a safety leader will be well represented with this group."

Known informally as the Super Bowl of Safety, the annual event is sponsored by the Safety and Loss Prevention Management Council of the American Trucking Associations. The goal is to promote driving safety among the nation's three million professional truck drivers. Competitive divisions include straight truck, three-axle, four-axle, five-axle, tank truck, flatbed, five-axle sleeper, twins and step van. The comprehensive competitions include written examinations, pre-trip inspection and a demonstration of braking, parking, backing and maneuvering skills.

The ABF slate of state champions for the 2011 national competition includes:

Loren Hatfield, Twins, Arkansas
Mark Kance, Straight Truck, Ohio
Rosey Jarzenski, Twins, Ohio
Tony Spero, Flatbed, Connecticut
David Wiechers, Straight Truck, Missouri
Chuck Smetzer, Three-Axle, Maryland
John Hazlett, Three-Axle, New Jersey
Tom Martin, Three-Axle, Wyoming
Andrew Walston, Flatbed, Wyoming
A.J. Kelly, Twins, Wyoming
Michael Sorenson, Four-Axle, California
Lonnie Walker, Four-Axle, Mississippi
Todd Wilemon, Flatbed, Mississippi
Gerald Benavidez, Four-Axle, New Mexico
Michael Contreras, Five-Axle, New Mexico
James Morgan, Sleeper, New Mexico
Ralph Garcia, Flatbed, New Mexico
Bill Sanchez, Tanker, New Mexico

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

ABF Announces Second Quarter 2011 Results

Arkansas Best Corporation announced second quarter 2011 net income of $5.3 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to a net loss of $7.4 million, or $0.30 per share, in the second quarter of 2010.

Arkansas Best’s second quarter 2011 return to profitability was primarily a result of ABF’s healthy tonnage levels combined with an emphasis on increased account pricing. ABF improved its operating ratio by over five operating points versus the same period last year and nearly seven and a half operating points versus the previous quarter.

“We are pleased with the improvement in our company’s performance and the steps we have taken toward restoring Arkansas Best’s historical profit margins,” said Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer. “However, the progress made so far does not produce sufficient returns for our shareholders nor does it allow us to adequately recapitalize our business. Further profitability gains should result from improved pricing on ABF’s existing account base and from continuing efforts to achieve a more competitive cost structure. Our focus on growing business with customers who value ABF’s high level of service and wide range of logistics offerings should also positively impact our profitability.”

Arkansas Best Corporation

Second Quarter 2011

Revenue of $498.6 million, a per day increase of 21.2% from the prior year second quarter revenue of $411.3 million
Net income of $0.20 per share compared to a net loss of $0.30 per share in the prior year quarter

ABF Freight System, Inc.

Second Quarter 2011

Revenue of $458.5 million compared to $379.4 million in second quarter 2010, a per-day increase of 20.8%

Tonnage per-day increase of 9.9% versus second quarter 2010
Total billed revenue per hundredweight of $25.83 compared to $23.59 in second quarter 2010, an increase of 9.5%, including increases in fuel surcharge
Operating income of $8.2 million compared to an operating loss of $12.6 million in second quarter 2010

Operating ratio of 98.2% compared to 103.3% in second quarter 2010
“Last quarter I described various initiatives that were under way to address inadequate pricing and improve the profitability on a large number of accounts. Throughout the second quarter, ABF held firm on requests to better match individual customer revenues with the high level of service and superior value that ABF offers. Though these pricing actions have caused some business to go to other carriers, the success of our efforts is reflected in ABF’s return to profitability,” said Ms. McReynolds.

Legal Update

On July 6, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed a lower court’s previous dismissal of a lawsuit ABF filed in November 2010 against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and various other parties. The lawsuit was remanded back to the lower court. The lawsuit related to three modifications of the National Master Freight Agreement (“NMFA”) that were exclusively granted to the YRC subsidiaries in 2009 and 2010. Approximately 76% of ABF’s employees are covered under the NMFA. ABF believes it is an equal signatory to the NMFA which, as a national collective bargaining agreement, is designed to establish a single national standard for wages and other employment terms for all employer participants. The intent of ABF’s original lawsuit was to level the playing field relative to the cost structures of all parties to the NMFA. ABF is very pleased with the Eighth Circuit’s ruling and will work through the next steps of the legal process to validate its rights under the NMFA.

Final Remarks

“We are encouraged by the positive results of the second quarter and we are pleased with the progress ABF has made,” said Ms. McReynolds. “However, we know we have a lot of work left to do. Our employees continue to work efficiently and productively to overcome our higher cost structure and to deliver the superior customer service for which ABF is known. As we move through the remainder of the year, we expect to make further progress toward consistently achieving the historical returns of our company.”

Mike Smid Departs YRC Worldwide

Mike Smid, president of YRC Inc. and YRC Worldwide’s chief operations officer, has retired, the company said.

Smid’s retirement was effective Friday, the less-than-truckload carrier said in a statement. He had been with the company in a variety of positions since 2000. Full Story....

Teamsters Join in American Crystal Contract Dispute

One of the nation's biggest unions is showing its support for American Crystal Sugar Union workers.

The Teamsters Union issued a statement Monday saying they will not be making deliveries to plants for the duration of the lockout.

There's a possibility that it could have a major affect on American Crystal Sugar plants due in part that some of their biggest deliveries are made by Teamsters drivers.

The local union requested the support of Teamsters during the lockout.

Drivers make deliveries from UPS, freight companies, maintenance and things that need to be delivered daily to American Crystal Sugar. Full Story.......