Friday, May 03, 2013

ABF Service Centers Recognized as “Best of the Best” with President’s Quality Awards

ABF service centers in Macon, Ga., Tulsa, Okla., Charlotte, N.C., and Salt Lake City, are being recognized with the prestigious President’s Quality Award from ABF President and CEO Roy Slagle. The award recognizes service centers most exemplifying the ABF Quality Process, which are considered the “Best of the Best.”

“The use of the five-step problem elimination process and the use of focus groups to tackle problems are deeply ingrained in our culture and have served us well for over 25 years,” said Mr. Slagle. “This approach to quality enhances the value of the services we offer the marketplace and heightens customers’ perception of ABF and our people. The conscientious dockworkers, truck drivers, shop staffs, account managers, and office staffs at these four service centers are setting the pace by their relentless pursuit of quality. I'm looking forward to my visit with each one in celebration of their achievement.”

Each facility is presented with a prestigious President’s Quality Award trophy and earns a listing at the ABF General Office. The award ceremonies are attended by the ABF Quality Implementation Committee, local employees and special guests.

All ABF service centers annually undergo extensive evaluations, including a nomination process, a quality awareness survey, an on-site validation audit, and scrutiny by the ABF Quality Implementation Committee. The comprehensive process gauges resource management, damage/loss prevention, customer satisfaction and other key performance indicators for the previous year. The ABF Quality Process uses a five-step problem elimination process: 1) define the problem; 2) fix the problem; 3) identify the root cause; 4) take corrective action; 5) evaluate and follow up. Education through quality seminars, job-skills training, focus groups and designated quality teams have ensured that quality at ABF is a process, not merely a program. Based on principles articulated by the late Philip Crosby, the process emphasizes ongoing prevention rather than end-of-line inspection. Identifying and eliminating the causes of problems improves service and requires no additional expenditure.

YRC Worldwide Reports First Quarter Positive Operating Income for the First Time in Six Years

YRC Worldwide Inc. today reported financial results for the first quarter 2013.

Consolidated operating revenue for the first quarter ending March 31, 2013 was $1.162 billion, 2.7% lower than the $1.194 billion reported in the first quarter of 2012, but consolidated operating income increased from a loss of $48.8 million to income of $9.9 million, or a $58.7 million increase.  Operating income in 2013 included a $4.5 million gain on asset disposals and in 2012 included an $8.3M loss. This is the first time in six years that the company reported consolidated positive first quarter operating income.

The company reported, on a non-GAAP basis, adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2013 of $60.7 million, a $45.4 million improvement over the $15.3 million adjusted EBITDA reported for the first quarter of 2012 (as detailed in the reconciliation below).  Due to seasonality, the first quarter is typically the low point of the year for adjusted EBITDA contribution.

"Despite more difficult winter weather conditions in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to an unusually mild winter in 2012, our year-over-year operating results continue to improve," stated James Welch, chief executive officer of YRC Worldwide.  "As we have said previously, 2013 is a year of performance, and to that end, the year-over-year 500 basis point improvement in our operating ratio from 104.1 in 2012 to 99.1 in 2013 is evidence of such performance. These results are due to a rational pricing environment for both YRC Freight and the Regional segment, and the productivity improvements along with the customer mix management effort at YRC Freight specifically.  We still have significant opportunity for further improvements, and as we move throughout 2013, we will continue to focus on providing premium services to both the regional and long-haul segments of the LTL market and growing the business, all while providing our customers the high-quality service they deserve," said Welch.

"Additionally, the safety initiatives we started in late 2011 have continued to provide positive results and we've seen a cultural shift throughout the organization.  Employees understand that being safe is good for our business and allows us to save money and redirect those funds toward investments in new equipment and technology.  Our overall workers' compensation claims experience continues to decline as we focus efforts on settling more claims than are filed," stated Welch.  Full Report Here.......

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Arkansas Best Corporation Announces First Quarter 2013 Results

Revenue rises to $520.7 million from $440.9 million

First quarter 2013 net loss of $13.4 million, or $0.52 per share

Emerging, non-asset-based businesses continue growth trends and cash generation

ABF labor contract negotiations continue and remain important to lowering ABF's cost structure

Arkansas Best Corporation today reported a first quarter 2013 net loss despite continued encouraging trends in its emerging businesses.  Year-over-year revenue and tonnage growth at LTL carrier ABF Freight System, Inc., were offset by higher wage and benefit costs for employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Arkansas Best's first quarter 2013 revenue was $520.7 million compared to revenue of $440.9 million in the first quarter of 2012. The first quarter net loss was $13.4 million, or $0.52 per share, compared to a first quarter 2012 net loss of $18.2 million, or $0.71 per share.  Last year's first quarter results included the effects of an unusually low corporate tax benefit rate and unusually high workers' compensation claims costs.  Combined, these items increased last year's first quarter net loss by $0.31 per share.  

Arkansas Best's emerging, non-asset-based businesses continue to display strength in their revenue growth and cash flow generation.  Freight brokerage and vehicle roadside and preventive maintenance grew first-quarter revenue 82% and 45%, respectively, and improved operating income. Operating results at Panther Expedited Services, Inc., were impacted by reduced demand for expedited services and investments made in sales and service locations for future growth.  On a combined basis, Panther and all of the other non-asset-based businesses generated first quarter 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") of $3.4 million, versus slightly negative EBITDA in the first quarter of 2012.  "First quarter revenue and operating income at our emerging businesses reflected growth and improvement as we invested heavily in these businesses during 2012.  They represent a critical piece of Arkansas Best's strategy to achieve sustained profitability," said Arkansas Best President and Chief Executive Officer Judy R. McReynolds.  "The investments made so far have improved the financial performance of these subsidiaries and strengthened their service offerings and their ability, both individually and through significant cross-selling opportunities, to better serve customers with full supply-chain solutions."

ABF Freight's first-quarter operating loss deepened despite revenue growth and improving business levels. McReynolds noted that the company's high-cost structure continues to weigh on results, underscoring the need for a more rational labor agreement that reflects the increasingly competitive LTL industry. "After months of hard work and a second extension of contract talks through May 31, the negotiating teams continue to make progress on developing a contract agreement for our Teamster-represented employees that is expected to provide ABF greater operational flexibility and lower costs in order to effectively compete in the future."  Full Report..........

Monday, April 29, 2013

Four New Penn Terminals Set Safety Records

Employees at New Penn terminals in four locations were recently honored for achieving new safety milestones. The Milton, Pa., Cinnaminson, N.J., Altoona, Pa., and Burlington, Vt. terminals have all passed the one year mark with perfect safety records that hold true even today. This safety accomplishment was achieved through the attentive safety focus of terminal employees, supported and encouraged by New Penn's continuous internal safety initiatives and training programs.

"Safety is primarily about constant awareness," said Tim Irish, Burlington, Vt., Terminal Manager. "If you always remind employees about ways to work safely, it helps to stay focused on that goal. We regularly show employees how to avoid injuries, and encourage them to rethink any potentially dangerous work habits. We all want to go home healthy and injury-free at the end of the day."

"You can't put a price on the safety, health, and well-being of our employees," said Steve Gast, New Penn President. "These safety records are their own rewards. We are incredibly happy to be celebrating them. For our employees, their families, our customers, and the people who share the road with us, safety is truly our first priority. The achievement these four terminals have reached illustrates a deep commitment. I want to personally thank our employees for their continued dedication to safety."

Some of the safety tools provided include educational videos, posters, and regular safety meetings. Technology, including in-terminal weather and roadway monitoring systems, also helped New Penn employees work more safely. These safety successes were earned during a year that experienced blizzards, hurricanes, flooding, and a great deal of severe weather in these regions which make these safety records even more impressive.

The safety records include employees across all operations, including dockworkers, drivers, office workers, and sales personnel. In recognition of their achievement, terminal employees received commemorative jackets that featured the safety record, terminal name and state.

About the Winning Terminals

Altoona, Pa.: Manager-Rick Cox, 62 employees, 528 days injury-free as of Dec. 21, 2012

Burlington, Vt.: Manager-Tim Irish, 26 employees, 415 days injury-free as of Apr. 4, 2013

Cinnaminson, N.J.: Manager-Steve Kapfer, 136 employees, 365 days injury-free as of Jan. 6, 2013

Milton, Pa.: Manager-Ruth Mull, 39 employees, 704 days injury-free as of Feb. 20, 2013