Saturday, February 07, 2015

Remembering “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks

Local 743 Had “Star” Organizer

The Teamsters Union is mourning the passing of “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, who served as a Teamster organizer in the off-season. Banks passed away on Jan. 23. 2015.

Baseball Hall of Famer Banks was always a favorite with Chicago Cubs fans during his 19-year career—and with Chicago Teamsters. Banks, noted for his friendly, down-to-earth disposition, excellent all-round play and his powerful home runs, also put his skills to use for the union.

Banks served as an organizer in the off-season at Local 743 for a number of years, focusing his efforts on warehouse and mail order workers in the Chicago area. Banks also served as advisor for the sports program at Local 743, which as you might guess had a heavy emphasis on baseball.

Banks was spotted by the Cubs when playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League and signed to a major league contract with the team in 1953. Banks was chosen to play in the All-Star Game during 11 seasons, was twice voted the National League Most Valuable Player and hit 512 home runs during his time with the Cubs.

Chicago Teamsters turned up at Wrigley Field in droves and proudly cheered for their fellow member on Ernie Banks Day in 1964. It was just one occasion for Teamsters to show support for Banks, whose love for the game prompted his signature phrase, “Let’s play two!”

Friday, February 06, 2015

YRC Execs: Positive Momentum Must Continue into 2015

During Thursday's year-end conference call, YRC Worldwide Inc. CEO James Welch told investors and securities analysts that 2014 was a year of two halves.

The year opened with YRC facing serious questions about its long-term survival. Looming debt, issues with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and even the weather held back the Overland Park-based less-than-truckload carrier. After clearing those hurdles, the company saw much improved performance in the second half of the year, culminating in two straight profitable quarters.

Welch said the company continues to improve its fiscal and operational performance and is focused on maintaining positive momentum in 2015 and beyond. He and his executives said YRC will maintain its work to move the right freight at the right price to the right places; improve the state of its vehicle fleet; increase its use of technology in distribution centers and terminals; and improve its overall safety.

Full Story.....

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

ArcBest Reports 14 Percent Revenue Growth For 2014

ArcBest Corp., a Fort Smith-based national logistics company, on Wednesday reported a 41 percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter compared to the previous year and a 14 percent increase in 2014 revenue for a total of $2.6 billion.

With the construction of a new headquarters at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith and other construction, ArcBest officials expect real estate expenditures for 2015 to total approximately $55 million. Having increased its borrowing power, the company also plans to spend approximately $110 million in equipment upgrades for subsidiaries ABF Freight and Panther Premium Logistics to improve fuel efficiency and decrease maintenance spending. ArcBest expects to spend $203 million total in capital expenditures this year with the addition of more trucks.

Full Story........

YRC Freight Named a Top 100 Military-Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs

YRC Freight announced its newest ranking in G.I. Jobs magazine, which places the company among the top 100 military-friendly employers, according to the 12th Annual Military Friendly Employers 2015 edition.

With over 26,000 employees, Overland Park, KS-based YRC Freight is the largest operating unit of YRC Worldwide, and with a 10 percent veteran hiring level in 2014, YRC Freight continues to prove its commitment to the nation's military.

"YRC Freight is determined to help those who have protected America find their place as professionals in the transportation industry, recognizing the valuable knowledge and work ethic gained through military service," said Darren Hawkins, president of YRC Freight. "We strongly believe in the career equity gained through time spent in the military and the value of skills possessed by those transferring into civilian service."

The company currently lists a variety of available positions including: operations, facilities manager, logistician, supply chain manager, professional driver, mechanic and training specialist. Top hiring regions for 2015 include Kansas City, MO; Seattle, WA; Irving, TX; and Chicago Heights, IL.

For more information about jobs at YRC Freight, please visit:

ArcBest Corporation Announces Improved Fourth Quarter 2014 Results And Full Year 2014 Results

·        Fourth quarter 2014 net income increased 41 percent to $14.5 million, or $0.53 per share.  Excluding certain identified items, fourth quarter 2014 net income increased 71 percent.

·        Solid fourth quarter business growth at ABF FreightSM resulted in an 11 percent increase in revenue and improved operating margins.

·        Fourth quarter revenue at ArcBest’s emerging businesses increased by 25 percent from the previous year and EBITDA increased by 14 percent.

·        Full year 2014 revenue at ArcBest Corporation increased 14 percent to $2.6 billion with 27 percent of the total revenue generated by the emerging businesses.

·        Full year 2014 net income was $46.2 million, nearly three times full year 2013 net income of $15.8 million.

ArcBest Corporation reported improved fourth quarter 2014 results reflecting improvements at ABF Freight and continued strong revenue growth at its emerging businesses – ABF Logistics, Panther Premium Logistics, FleetNet America  and ABF Moving.

Fourth Quarter 2014 Results

ArcBest’s revenue was $664.8 million compared to revenue of $578.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 15 percent.  Net income increased 41 percent to $14.5 million, or $0.53 per share compared to fourth quarter 2013 net income of $10.3 million, or $0.38 per share.  As shown in the attached reconciliation tables, both of these periods were impacted by favorable effective tax rates and adjustments for certain other items.  On an adjusted basis, ArcBest’s fourth quarter 2014 net income increased 71 percent compared to fourth quarter 2013 net income of $8.4 million, or $0.31 per share.

ABF Freight’s revenue was $485.9 million, an 11 percent increase over fourth quarter 2013 revenue of $436.7 million.  Operating income increased to $14.7 million from $9.9 million in fourth quarter 2013.  ABF Freight’s operating ratio was 97.0 percent versus 97.7 percent in 2013. Excluding adjustments for certain other items in the attached reconciliation table, operating income increased to $15.8 million from $7.7 million in fourth quarter 2013, and ABF Freight’s fourth quarter 2014 operating ratio was 96.8 percent versus 98.2 percent in the year-ago period.

Revenue for ArcBest’s emerging, non-asset-based businesses increased 25 percent over the same period of 2013.  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) at the non-asset-based businesses increased 14 percent to $9.4 million compared to EBITDA of $8.2 million in fourth quarter 2013.  The percentage of year-over-year EBITDA improvement is below that of the first three quarters of 2014.  This is related to personnel and IT investments made to enhance continued growth in these businesses and due to a particularly strong fourth quarter result last year at Panther.

Full Year 2014 Results

“We made significant progress this year getting ABF Freight on a firmer path toward sustained, historical profitability and communicating with our customers about the full array of transportation and logistics solutions we offer through all of the ArcBest companies,” said ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds.  “Changing our company name, embracing “The Skill & The Will” positioning, and integrating customer offerings at ABF Freight, ABF Logistics and Panther through our Enterprise Customer Solutions group are all examples of how we serve customers better today than ever before.”

ArcBest’s revenue totaled $2.6 billion, an increase of 14 percent compared to $2.3 billion in 2013. Net income was $46.2 million, or $1.69 per share, approximately three times net income of $15.8 million, or $0.59 per share in 2013.  Excluding adjustments for certain other items in the attached reconciliation table, ArcBest had 2014 net income of $49.5 million, or $1.82 per share compared to net income of $14.7 million, or $0.55 per share in 2013.

ABF Freight’s revenue was $1.9 billion, a 10 percent increase over $1.8 billion in 2013. As expected, ABF Freight’s profitability improved as a result of its November 2013 union labor contract that reduced expenses and allowed ABF Freight to be more cost competitive with its LTL industry peers.  As outlined in the attached reconciliation table, ABF Freight’s 2014 adjusted operating income increased to $55.4 million versus $11.9 million in 2013, and its adjusted operating ratio improved by over two percentage points to 97.1 percent.

On a combined basis, ArcBest’s emerging businesses had strong revenue growth and margin improvement while positively contributing to ArcBest’s total results.  These businesses have grown to be 27 percent of ArcBest’s revenue, nearly four times the percentage of total corporate revenue just five years ago.  Combined EBITDA for the emerging businesses in 2014 increased 45 percent to $40.5 million.

Capital Expenditures

In 2014, total net capital expenditures equaled $86 million, including approximately $65 million of revenue equipment for ABF Freight and Panther.  Depreciation and amortization costs on fixed assets equaled $82 million.

For 2015, total net capital expenditures are estimated to be approximately $200 million. This includes revenue equipment purchases of $110 million at ABF Freight and Panther.  Expected real estate expenditures, totaling approximately $55 million, are for previously disclosed growth initiatives at ArcBest and its operating subsidiaries.  These include freight service center construction, call center facilities and needed office buildings, a portion of which replaces leased space.  The remainder of expected capital expenditures includes the costs of other terminal and handling equipment at ABF Freight and technology investments across the corporation. ArcBest’s depreciation and amortization costs on fixed assets in 2015 are estimated to be in a range of $95 million to $100 million.

The majority of the revenue equipment purchases are for road and city tractors and trailers at ABF Freight needed to replace both existing equipment and local rentals.  In order to more rapidly replace used equipment and to reduce maintenance costs, ABF Freight is increasing the number of tractor and trailer replacements in 2015.  In addition, the majority of road tractors ABF Freight is purchasing this year will be equipped with automated manual transmissions.  In conjunction with the transportation industry’s move toward this technology, ABF Freight expects that these tractors will contribute to better fuel economy, reduced maintenance costs and an improved ability to attract new employees to what is already one of the best driver jobs in the industry.

Closing Comments

“In addition to seeing improvements at ABF Freight, we are truly excited about the growth opportunities before us in 2015 in many areas, including truckload brokerage, expansion of premium logistics offerings and ongoing collaboration across all of the ArcBest companies,” said McReynolds. “This past year was one of marked change for our company, and we now have many of the strategies and tools in place necessary to unlock the innovation and market share growth required for the next level of success at ArcBest.  Our improved operational and financial performance, along with ArcBest’s 2014 stock appreciation and previously announced dividend increase, benefit our employees, our customers and our shareholders.”

Monday, February 02, 2015

Teamsters' Partnership Trains Veterans For CDLs

The Teamsters, the U.S. Army and ABF Freight formally entered into a partnership today which provides for commercial driver's license training for military personnel that are transitioning to civilian life. 

Teamsters, through the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, have been assisting veterans in obtaining careers in the transportation industry over the years, but today, along with partners from Soldier For Life, ABF Freight, Fort Sill, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, marks the beginning of the first pilot program leading to a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for active military.

“Since the earliest days of the union, Teamster members have served in the armed forces, raised money for victory bonds and our membership includes three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Supporting training for men and women to transition from the Army into good, full-time jobs as a result of earning the Commercial Driver’s License, is the least we can do to honor those that defend and protect our country.”

The U.S. Army installation at Ft. Sill, Lawton, Oklahoma, is the first Army base where the CDL training will occur.  Already under way, there are 12 participants in the program. Training consists of classroom-style instruction as well as behind-the-wheel practical experience.  Training will take six weeks and will be repeated throughout the year.

Once the CDL is earned by a participant, the Union and ABF Freight will provide job placement assistance within the nationwide ABF Freight network. With over 130,000 soldiers transitioning from military service to civilian life annually, this new program will help meet a critical need.

Minnesota Trucking Association Names Bill Krouse 2014 Minnesota Driver Of The Year

At their annual Safety Conference and Driver of the Year Banquet, the Minnesota Trucking Association named Bill Krouse, professional truck driver for YRC Freight, the 2014 Driver of  the Year.

Bill has been in the trucking industry for 32 years and has driven more than 2.2 million miles accident free.

"This award is a great way to honor the best in our industry. It is an absolutely amazing feat to drive millions of miles without an accident when you take into consideration his daily driving conditions like congestion, driver distractions and Minnesota winters. Not only is Bill a great driver on the road, but he also exemplifies outstanding character within the community. We are honored to provide him with this much deserved award," said John Hausladen, MTA president.

"Bill is the epitome of a well-liked driver. His customers appreciate the positive energy he brings in each and every day," said Chris Johnson, City Dispatch Manager at YRC Freight. "I'm blessed to have Bill on the team and extremely proud of him."

When he's not on the road, Bill often gives safety demonstrations to other drivers on correct procedures for avoiding accidents and injury. He is also a very active member of the Minnesota State Truck Driving Championships. He has won the Minnesota Championships four times, has placed as high as 12th at nationals, won Rookie of the Year in 2004 and the Howie Johnson Award in 2012.

Throughout 2014, exceptional drivers are nominated by their companies and one driver is chosen each month to be the Driver of the Month. The drivers who are chosen meet a high standard of requirements including an outstanding driving and work record; contribution to industry and highway safety; and involvement in the community. In January, MTA hosts the Driver of the Year Banquet, and one of the twelve nominees is selected by a panel of judges including Dan Drexler, Division Administrator for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Captain Matt Sokol, Minnesota State Patrol; and Ward Briggs, Director of MN/DOT's Office of Motor Carrier Services.