YRC Worldwide is engaging its competitors -- and the media -- in a fierce battle for freight and customer confidence after squelching fears of a near-term bankruptcy.
Fresh from its successful debt-for-equity swap Dec. 31, YRC Worldwide is taking its message to shippers through advertising and marketing aimed at building volume.
It's the latest attempt by the nation's largest trucker to recapture business lost over the past three years, which saw YRC Worldwide rack up more than $2 billion in losses.
The debt-for-equity swap retired $470 million in debt and transferred ownership of the company to its bondholders, triggering long-term lending and labor agreements.
With the exchange, YRC steered clear of a potential bankruptcy reorganization, with enough liquidity and reserves to roll into 2010, and fierce LTL competition.
From 2006 through 2008 YRC Worldwide's revenue shrank from $9.9 billion to $8.3 billion, and it's expected to post about $6 billion in revenue in its 2009 results.
Regaining business shippers shifted to other less-than-truckload carriers and adding new volume is now critical for the company's plans to reverse its fortunes in 2010.
YRC is heralding the success of its debt swap in online advertising with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, stressing the importance of its survival to shippers.
The ads took the form of a letter to customers from YRC Worldwide Chairman and CEO William D. Zollars thanking them for their business and extolling YRC's employees.
For shippers, "Our stronger financial situation combined with the professionalism of all our employees … means more reliable choices, continued competitive rates, additional service options, and a healthier transportation industry," Zollars said in the ads.
It's a message Zollars also delivered to shippers in a video on insight.yrcw.com, a promotional Web site maintained by the company.
"A healthy YRC Worldwide is good for the industry and good for you, especially as the economy rebounds," he said.
If the economy isn't rebounding fast enough, YRC is willing to lend a little help.
The company is offering shippers that tender multiple shipments $50 off their next 10 less-than-truckload shipments worth $150 or more.
Shippers attach $50 discount coupons to the "special instructions" section of their bills of lading to receive the special promotional discount.
Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.