YRC Worldwide sold its stake in Chinese trucking operator Shanghai Jiayu Logistics as it pares its business back to its North American trucking core operations.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In selling its 65 percent share in Shanghai Jiayu to a Chinese partner, YRC Worldwide signaled its rejection of old ambitions to build a global footprint.
In 2008, former YRC Worldwide Chairman, President and CEO William D. Zollars saw the Shanghai Jiayu deal as crowning a 10-year transformation of YRC.
The company had more than tripled in size through acquisitions and launched itself into logistics. China was the golden frontier for U.S. companies going global.
According to its Web site, Shanghai Jiayu offers less-than-truckload and truckload freight services throughout China through a network of 200 subsidiaries.
“Shanghai Jiayu Logistics represents a key link in building an end-to-end supply chain capability,” Zollars said in 2008 when acquiring a stake in the company.
Back at home, however, YRC Worldwide had already begun its turbulent slide from being a $9.9 billion company in 2006 to a $4.3 billion company in 2010.
That slide involved more than $2.5 billion in losses, two near brushes with bankruptcy, wage and benefit concessions by Teamster employees and a massive reorganization.
Last year, YRC Worldwide increased revenue 12.3 percent to $4.9 billion, but reported a net loss of $354.4 million, up from $304.7 million in 2010.
James Welch, who has been restructuring YRC Worldwide and chief subsidiary YRC Freight since he was named CEO last July, has different plans for the company.
“Everything we do is focused on strengthening our core North American LTL operations,” he said in an interview at YRC’s Overland Park, Kan., headquarters.
The company in December sold its Glen Moore truckload operation to Celadon Trucking. It had already sold its logistics unit, now MIQ Logistics, in 2010.
Welch said he “categorically disagreed” with the strategies YRC Worldwide pursued under Zollars, a major reason he left the company after 29 years in 2007.
He spent four and a half years with other companies, including a successful stint as CEO of same-day carrier Dynamex, before returning to YRC Worldwide last year.
Selling Shanghai Jiayu, Welch said, simplifies YRC Worldwide’s portfolio and stresses the trucker is in the business of moving LTL freight in North America.
YRC can still think globally, but haul more freight locally, he said, by working with partners rather than owning logistics and shipping businesses in China.