YRC to Raise Rates 6.9 Percent

YRC to Raise Rates 6.9 Percent

YRC Inc., the long-haul subsidiary of YRC Worldwide is hiking its rates 6.9 percent, matching rate hikes announced by many of its leading competitors.

The less-than-truckload carrier will hike its rates Aug. 1. The increase will average 6.9 percent, but vary by lane and shipment type, the company said.

The general rate increase will only apply to non-contract LTL rates and accessorial charges, but the GRI should help YRC raise the pricing bar as it negotiates contracts.

YRC is following the lead of UPS Freight, ABF Freight System and Con-way Freight, which also announced 6.9 percent general rate increases in recent weeks.

The rate hikes are an early shot across shipper budgets. Typically, LTL carriers wait until the fall or early winter to issue general rate increases instead of July.

Tightening LTL capacity and rising costs are spurring carriers to boost rates and recover some ground lost in the recession before the peak shipping season.

YRC, plagued by years of losses, has had trouble raising pricing compared with some of its competitors. The carrier’s yield was up only 1.8 percent in the first quarter.

Contract rates were up “north of 3 percent” in the first quarter and should rise throughout 2011, Chairman, President and CEO William D. Zollars said in May.

At the time, he noted that YRC’s business with national corporate accounts outpaced its business with smaller shippers, who typically yield higher-priced freight.

Last week YRC Worldwide forecast it would increase overall revenue by $600 million in 2011 to $4.9 billion, reversing four years of revenue decline.

-- Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc