Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Trucking out of Jacksonville Yellow Freight Plans to Close Philips Terminal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Trucking out of Jacksonville Yellow Freight Plans to Close Philips Terminal

Article excerpt

Yellow Freight System, the nation's largest truck line, is

shutting down its Jacksonville distribution center and

transferring 150 jobs out of the city as part of a corporatewide

restructuring.

Yellow Freight employs about 200 drivers, mechanics,

dockworkers and office personnel at the Jacksonville

distribution center, which consolidates loads for its trucks

leaving and entering Florida.

The company is pulling out of a 53-acre Southside facility it

spent $13 million to build just six years ago. Yellow Freight

had received $814,000 in state grants for an access road off

Philips Highway.

As part of the overhaul plan, the company will operate a

scaleddown, end-of-the-line terminal at the company's former

Clifton Street facility on the the Northside. That terminal

would employ about 50, a Yellow Freight spokesman said.

"We're reconfiguring our network due to the changing nature of

the business," spokesman Dana Eisele said.

Competition among trucking companies has been fierce ever since

the industry was deregulated in the early 1980s. Yellow

Freight's parent, Kansas City-based Yellow Corp., recently

underwent a management shake-up.

Eisele said the facility will be leased or sold. He said the

company will honor any commitments it has to the city or state.

It was unclear yesterday if Yellow Freight will have to repay

any of the state road funds it received to build the Southside

distribution center.

Yellow Freight's decision to shut down the huge distribution

center caught city officials by surprise.

"News like this is never good news," said Susan Wiles,

spokeswoman for Mayor John Delaney. But "this is the real

corporate world of efficiencies," she said.

Workers said they were told of the shutdown and transfers on

Friday.

"There have been rumors of a closing almost since the place

opened," said George Higgins, a dockworker who has been with the

company for 23 years. …

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