Wednesday, December 23, 2009

US Trucking Operators YRC And Arrow Struggle In Difficult Times

Kansas Outfit Hanging on as Arrow Tulsa Goes Down in Flames
Shipping News Feature

US – Less Than Trailer Load (LTL) freight truck specialists YRC Worldwide, who were dropped from the Dow Jones Index earlier this month are still renegotiating their near $537 million debt for equity swap to ensure the groups continued survival. Last night the company was still claiming it was making progress with its lenders to ensure their continued support having moved the goalposts on its original proposal. The Kansas outfit originally stated that it would get 95% approval from bondholders but this fell short and the company are now apparently seeking only 80% support.

YRC have already postponed the deadline for acceptance of their terms on three occasions but the matter needs a rapid conclusion if the haulier is to avoid bankruptcy. The group needs to repay almost $20 million in interest on their loans and it seems New Years Eve is the likely deadline. YRC have received substantial credit assistance leading to other US trucking companies calling foul, and been supported throughout their problems this year by staff in the main represented by the Teamsters .Yesterday however International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Hoffa asked U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to review “questionable promotion” of credit- default swaps by YRC.

Meanwhile Arrow Trucking of Tulsa have reportedly gone into bankruptcy leaving over two hundred office staff and fourteen hundred truck drivers with no jobs and many with no rigs as the company collapsed. Truckers have been left with unpaid wages and gas bills and very little information as the company website vanished and telephones remain unanswered. The sudden demise is likely to leave the company open to prosecution under the Federal WARN act which requires them to give staff two months notice.

A support group on Facebook (here) is assimilating offers of help but the truck message boards have been filled in recent months with complaints by the company’s drivers. The Arrow office telephone has a recorded message telling drivers to turn their rigs in at the nearest dealer and they will be given a bus ticket to get them home.

Thanks to Rusty Wade for corrections to the Arrow story.