James Welch is moving into his second year as CEO of YRC Worldwide with plans to use technology to optimize the struggling company’s trucking operations.
YRC Worldwide this week said it would equip drivers at YRC Freight and regional carriers Holland and Reddaway with handheld mobile computers.
The CN70e computers from Intermec will help drivers scan and send shipment information and other data to dispatch centers, the company said.
The mobile devices will be distributed to city pickup and delivery drivers starting in October, said Welch, helping to improve on-time arrivals and boost service levels.
The handheld devices are part of a broader effort to improve the technology YRC Worldwide’s operating companies use to run less-than-truckload networks.
“We’re trying to figure out where we’re doing better and where we need to change, what we need to do to get the business we want,” Welch said in an interview.
The company is investing in new technology even as it struggles to recover from more than five years of sustained losses totaling more than $3 billion.
YRC Worldwide’s second quarter results, due out shortly, are likely to indicate there are many miles ahead for the $4.9 billion company on the road to recovery.
“YRC Freight is still the company that has to do better and will do better,” Welch said. “We’re still handling too much freight that perhaps we shouldn’t handle.”
That could mean further “tweaking” of YRC Freight’s terminal network, which recently completed a major change of operations to speed freight with less handling.
In March, YRC Freight also implemented a new costing model that will help the long-haul LTL carrier better measure its operating costs and price freight accordingly.
“We’re encouraged by the results we’ve seen so far,” Welch said. “It’s pointing YRC Freight in a better direction, one that’s going to make a difference over time.”
Moving forward, “We’ll have to be real smart with our capital expenditures,” Welch said. “We’ll start spending some money in 2013” on replacing aging assets.
“We’ll have to be intelligent about where and how we deploy resources,” he said.
(A further report on YRC Worldwide and James Welch’s plans for the enterprise in his second year as CEO will be published in the July 30 edition of The Journal of Commerce magazine.)
Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc