YRC Freight, the long-haul unit of less-than-truckload carrier YRC Worldwide Inc., is planning to add eight distribution centers (DCs) to its network, according to a proposal made public today. The additional DCs would handle 7,000 daily shipments that will be redirected from existing DCs.
Under the proposal, YRC Freight will open DCs in Columbus, Ohio; Hagerstown, Md.; Orlando, Fla.; Omaha, Neb.; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; San Antonio, Texas; and South Bend, Ind. Once the DCs are added, Overland Park, Kan.-based YRC Freight will be operating 31 such facilities in the United States. The proposed change will add 962 dock doors to the carrier's network, it said.
YRC Freight said it regularly incurs severe backups at seven existing locations: Chicago; Charlotte, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Akron, Ohio; Dallas; Indianapolis; and Harrisburg, Va. Adding the eight DCs will relieve freight-flow pressure at those facilities, especially during the hectic end-of-month and end-of-quarter periods, as well as during severe weather events, YRC Freight said in a letter to the Teamsters union dated yesterday.
Under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement, YRC Freight must inform the Teamsters of all planned operational changes. YRC Freight said it would implement the changes no sooner than Oct. 8. Although the union can offer input, there is little it can do to prevent the changes from taking place.
As part of its broad operational change, YRC Freight proposed to establish line-haul terminals at so-called end-of-the-line facilities that are used as origin and termination points for service, a move that would enable over-the-road drivers to operate at selected end-of-the-line terminals. The carrier will also add 84 so-called utility driver positions at 33 end-of-the-line terminal locations. Each location would be within a 175-mile radius of the eight new DCs, YRC Freight said.
Utility drivers are deemed to be more efficient than "road drivers" because they can work across all designated job classifications such as over-the-road, city, yard, and dock. Utility drivers are paid by the hour and receive an additional $1 an hour wage.
In addition, YRC Freight said it plans to speed up driver turns to reduce overnight layovers and allow more drivers to return home the same day.
The proposed operational changes are YRC Freight's second in four years.