YRC, looking to restructure its operations as the trucking operator seeks to rebuild its finances, is preparing for talks with the Teamsters union on a redesign of its freight terminal network and how its union employees handle shipments.
The redesign is the next step in a restructuring at the nation’s third-largest less-than-truckload carrier started last year by new YRC President Jeff Rogers. It’s part of a broader overhaul of the YRC Worldwide business that’s taken place since a financial rescue that included critical concessions from the Teamsters.
YRC managers will meet with union officials after completing a review of the troubled carrier’s network, Rogers said in an interview Friday.
“We’ve got meetings set up already,” he said. “I sat down with Tyson (Johnson) within my first couple of weeks as president and told him it would be coming.”
YRC Worldwide named Rogers president of its core long-haul LTL subsidiary last September after completing a $500 million financial restructuring. Johnson is the Teamsters National Freight Director and an international vice president.
The long-haul LTL operator lost more than $1.6 billion as its parent company’s revenue tumbled from nearly $10 billion in 2006 to $4.3 billion in 2010.
YRC this week said it would close the former Roadway general headquarters in Akron, Ohio, eliminating 50 to 100 jobs and transferring others.
YRC Worldwide merged Roadway with Yellow Transportation in 2009, six years after Yellow bought Roadway for $1.1 billion. “We’re moving forward as YRC, not Yellow, not Roadway,” Rogers said. “Those companies don’t exist anymore. One of the biggest tasks ahead for me is to bring the Yellow and Roadway folks together.”
The company is considering whether further consolidation is needed, but Rogers said he wants to eliminate some freight handling.
“We need to look at the way we’re moving freight through distribution centers,” Rogers said. That could require Teamster approval for a change of operations.
Last fall, Rogers said YRC is handling “too much freight too many times,” which can drive up costs, slow shipments and risk higher claims. Changing the operations, however, is complicated by contractual work rules.
Rogers said there are steps YRC can take to reduce freight handling before a change of operations, such as making sure terminals adhere to load plans.
Rogers already has streamlined the $2.9 billion company’s management and consolidated the carrier’s operating territories into two regions.
He said the company is making progress toward returning to profitability, supported by freight volumes that remained “relatively strong” through Dec. 23.
“I’m encouraged with how the year ended,” he said. “That tells me 2012 could be a very good year.”
Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc