Deciding it is what it hauls, YRC Worldwide is rebranding its largest less-than-truckload operating subsidiary YRC as YRC Freight. The name change is more than cosmetic. It’s part of a relentless drive by new management to restart a company that narrowly avoided bankruptcy and is about half the size it was in 2006.
“We are truly trying to be a new company,” YRC Freight President Jeff Rogers said. Renaming the carrier “was about trying to get the company back to fundamentals. Look at our competitors. It just made sense to put ‘Freight’ on there.”
The company’s largest competitors are FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight, followed by UPS Freight, ABF Freight System and Old Dominion Freight Line. Choosing a brand name similar to your competition isn’t usually the way to stand out in a crowded field, but this is trucking. And in this case, the new name signals to shipper customers that YRC Freight is a member of that LTL trucking club.
When it comes to a corporate brand or identity, “I think customers want something they can equate to what you do,” Rogers said. “Adding ‘Freight’ gives them a good handle on what we are and what we do” — hauling LTL freight.
Rogers also hopes the new name will improve company morale. “One of the biggest issues for me is getting all the employees moving forward as a team,” Rogers told The Journal of Commerce last week. He noted many employees worked for years at Yellow Transportation or Roadway before the two iconic carriers merged in 2009. Rebranding creates an opportunity to do that, he said. “We had an internal rollout here a couple of weeks ago with some of our million-mile drivers. We want to get employees excited about it. We’re starting a new uniform program.”
The company also will begin rebranding its trucks with a YRC Freight logo. “We hope to rebrand up to 1,000 city tractors this year,” Rogers said.