Yellow files revised change of operations with Teamsters

Less-than-truckload carrier Yellow Corp. filed revised change-of-operations notifications with the Teamsters union on Monday. An original plan to consolidate operations at regional carriers New Penn and Holland with its national YRC Freight network received pushback from the union in December, forcing the carrier to revisit the process.

A key sticking point in the original notification was the creation of 998 utility positions, requiring drivers to work across the different operating companies and handle freight on the docks. The latest submission shows a provision for only 121 such positions originating from 39 terminals.

Yellow (NASDAQ: YELL) also wants to refine linehaul movements to include more turns in the system where drivers relay freight to other drivers, or to other terminals, returning home at night. A “designated terminal turn” would have a driver haul freight to a terminal, work on the dock there and return to their origin facility at the end of the shift.

The documents showed there would be a total of 36 designated terminals.

“Increasing the number of ‘turns’ is a quality-of-life issue for many of our drivers who will now be able to make it home at night,” a Yellow spokesperson told FreightWaves. “In addition, this change will add consistency to our drivers’ schedules and enable Yellow to provide enhanced on-time service.”

Union workers, however, don’t want to rebid for jobs or be tasked with dock operations, which they view as outside of their job description as a driver.

In the notifications, Yellow said it wants to utilize this procedure on 20% to 25% of linehaul operations in the East, Central and South regions and that 395 of its road drivers at Holland are currently performing this type of work.

“The result of this proposed change will create additional road turns, meet [and] turns and will increase the speed, velocity and consistency of freight moving between our designated terminals as well as our end of line terminals,” a document read.

Yellow also seeks to realign the ZIP codes covered by 204 terminals to optimize pickup and delivery by creating shorter routes and improving efficiency and capacity.

“The optimized terminal ZIP code coverage will streamline our city pickup and delivery,” the form stated. “Translating to earlier pickups and deliveries, improved response time and increased capacity to handle our customer’s shipping needs.”

Yellow requested a hearing date for the week of March 10 with implementation of the plan no later than April 30.

“YRC Freight, New Penn and Holland must change in order to become competitive in the marketplace,” the document continued. “Significantly improving our transit times is imperative to our success.”

Yellow has already engaged in the process of merging all of the different operating companies onto the same technology platform in efforts to reduce costs and eliminate redundancy. The company executed the first phase of the overhaul last year, which included the restructuring of 89 YRC Freight and Reddaway facilities in the West.

Management from Yellow has said in the past that a total of 28 terminals, or 6% of doors, would be closed in the process.

Yellow is a unionized carrier and party to the National Master Freight Agreement, which governs union-employer relations and requires the filing of changes to operations.

“As part of this change, we are modernizing the business — integrating our networks, optimizing our footprints, aligning our operations and expanding our regional capabilities (Super Regional) to better serve our customers and redefine our value proposition in the LTL marketplace,” Yellow said.

More FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden

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