YRC Freight Hike Rates By 6.9 Percent

OVERLAND PARK, KS — YRC Freight announced the increase of their general rate covering non-contractual shipments in North America by an average of 6.9 percent on June 25. The hike will come into effect on July 9 and will vary by lane and shipment size. The hike will apply to minimum charges, LTL rates and accessorial charges.

“Rates still aren’t where they need to be,” James Welch, YRC Worldwide CEO said in an interview with the Journal of Commerce. “The industry as a whole needs to improve its returns so companies can recapitalize their fleets.”

And YRT Freight is not the only less-than-truckload carrier to up their rates. On June 25, ABF Freight Systems kicked up their rates to 6.9 percent. And starting July 9, FedEx and Con-Way Freight by an average of — you guessed it — 6.9 percent.

According to JOC, various LTL and truckload carriers at a shipper conference said that rising operating costs are eating away at already thin profit margins.

“We’re now paying 50 percent more for the tractors we’re bringing on line than the tractors we bought six years ago,” Roy Slagle, ABF president, told NASSTRAC.

Stiefel Nicolaus, an investment research firm, told JOC that they expect LTL rates to climb two to four percent in 2012.

“We believe most of (FedEx’s) competitors will follow suit with a rate increase in the July-August timeframe,” said David G. Ross, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus.

Welch said it’s possible that YRC’s regional carriers — Holland, New Penn Motor Express and Reddaway — will implement an increase of about 6.5 percent.

Welch told JOC a “multitude” of factors affect raising LTL rates. “Our equipment, our facilities, are not like fine wine. They don’t get better every day,” he said. “Some of the industry’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded.”

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