Yellow Transportation Inc.: The Tech Leader of the Trucking Industry in the US

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER032
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1991 - 2003
Organization : Yellow Corp.
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Logistics

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"With so many of our routine business transactions migrating to the internet and the quickly evolving e-commerce business opportunities today, our focus as an organization has to be on technology development and deployment."

- Lynn Caddell, President of Yellow Technologies in 20001.

"We've gone from being a company that thought it was in the trucking business to being one that realizes it's in the service business."

- William Zollars, chairman, president and CEO of Yellow Corp. in 20022.

Yellow Honored

In August 2003, CIO Magazine, a leading Internet and technology magazine, announced its annual list of the top 100 technology companies in the world that exemplified the highest level of operational and strategic excellence. Yellow Corp was recognized for its IT department's regular evaluation of software to eliminate duplicate or underused products. This was the fourth time that Yellow Corp. had featured in this list since 1999.

This honor came close on the heels of Yellow Corp being recognized as the 'Most Admired Company' in its sector by Fortune3 in February 2003. "We are extremely honored by this prestigious recognition.

Operations Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

This validation of Yellow as a leader in its ongoing commitment to its customers is much appreciated." said William Zollars (Zollars), chairman, president and CEO of Yellow Corp.4 Yellow Transportation Inc5 (Yellow), a trucking company in the US, set up in the 1920s, was one of the leaders in an industry known as the less-than-truckload-industry (LTL)6.

But Yellow found itself floundering after the US trucking industry was deregulated by the government in 1980. The company's performance began to decline sharply and the need was felt for a change. During the late-1990s, under the guidance of Zollars, Yellow managed to bring in changes to reestablish itself as an industry leader. Zollars brought about a number of changes in the processes and attitudes within the company. To assist the turnaround, he made extensive use of technology, to accelerate the change process and improve customer service. By the early 2000s, Yellow had become one of the top transportation companies in the US and was widely acknowledged as the technology leader in the trucking industry.

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1]  Yellow Corporation Renames Subsidiary Yellow Technologies, Inc., PR Newswire, January 27, 2000.

2] Chuck Salter, Fresh Start 2002: On the Road Again, Fast Company, January 2002.

3] Fortune is a leading business magazine. The Fortune 'Most Admired' List is considered to be the most definitive report on corporate reputation in industrial circles. This was the sixth consecutive time that Yellow featured on the Fortune 'Most Admired Company' list.


5] Yellow Transportation was a major subsidiary of Yellow Corp, a holding company, comprising several other specialized subsidiaries, such as Yellow Technologies Inc., Meridian IQ, Yellow Global and regional carriers like Saia Motor Freight Line, Jevic Transportation.

6] LTL trucking companies usually carried small amounts of freight, which did not fill the trucks to capacity. They usually charged a premium for the vacant truck space.


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