Yellow Roadway's Makeover in Preparation for China Push (YELL, YRCW)

Includes: YELL, YRCW

From an article in today's Wall Street Journal (sub req):

U.S. trucking giant Yellow Roadway Corp. (ticker: YELL) is planning to operate its own trucks in China later this year as part of a global expansion plan, according to Bill Zollars, chairman and chief executive of the company.

Yellow Roadway will change its name to YRC Worldwide Inc. to avoid negative connotations and reflect the expansion and will also change its stock symbol on the Nasdaq Stock Market to YRCW tomorrow.

Mr. Zollars said Chinese trucking remains fragmented with wide variation in equipment, maintenance and service standards.

So far, Yellow Roadway has become involved in freight forwarding and logistics joint ventures in China, but hasn't yet operated its own trucks in the country. The company plans to start with fewer than 100 trucks to serve four or five major manufacturers or retailers that are moving goods varying from electronics to apparel, toys and shoes to the port of Shanghai to be loaded onto cargo ships bound for the U.S. Mr. Zollars said the company hasn't decided if it will acquire a Chinese trucking company or buy its own trucks. Service will be expanded to other parts of China once the trucking operation is running well.

This announcement is consistent with what Zollars said during management's Q3 2005 earnings results conference call:

....we recently announced the completion of our freight forwarding joint venture with JinJiang in China. And we expect to close our logistics joint venture with JinJiang in early 2006. There is just tremendous potential here to manage large shipments in China and connect China to the U.S. more effectively for our 800,000 customer base. And we're going to continue to focus on this area of the world because of that opportunity.

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)

Company press release here.