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Trucking company Caliber Systems to cut 1,500 jobs next year

December 19, 1996

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ Caliber System Inc., whose Viking trucking line has been plagued by losses, announced Thursday plans to eliminate 1,500 jobs next year and close 30 trucking terminals.

The company also announced a wage freeze through at least July 1 for nearly 6 percent of the company’s 26,000 full-time employees.

``Our employees are well aware of the need to reduce costs and maintain Viking’s high quality of service and are committed to doing so,″ said Daniel J. Sullivan, Caliber’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

Caliber also employs 10,500 part-time contract workers, mostly truck drivers.

The company also announced that the 56-year-old president of the Viking Freight Inc. unit, Ronald G. Pelzel, will retire effective Dec. 31. He will be replaced by Rodger G. Marticke, currently president of the Caliber Logistics unit.

Sullivan said Viking will continue to post losses in the fourth quarter similar to that of the third quarter. Viking’s troubles contributed to a third-quarter loss of $1.97 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $627.2 million for the parent company.

Caliber said it will return to profitability in the fourth quarter and all of 1996.

In last year’s fourth quarter, Caliber lost $33.4 million, or 85 cents a share, on revenue of $801.2 million. For all of 1995, it lost $27.2 million, or 69 cents a share, on revenue of $2.45 billion.

Caliber System, formerly Roadway Services Inc., spun off its long-haul Roadway Express trucking unit in January, leaving the company with operations focusing primarily on small-package transportation.

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