Florida East Coast Railway’s net loss in the third quarter fell to $596,000 from nearly $2.6 million, as freight revenue rose 6.5 percent but labor and capital costs expanded as well.
Intermodal volume on the 351-mile railway from Jacksonville, Fla., to Miami inched up nearly 1 percent year-over-year to 95,358 units, pushing intermodal revenue up 7 percent to $40.8 million. Total volume expanded 1.7 percent to 123,000 units in the same period.
Freight revenue rose to $62.5 million in the same period, lifting total revenue up 5 percent to $66.2 million. FEC carload revenue rose 4 percent year-over-year to $21.7 million, while non-freight business fell 12 percent to $3.7 percent
The company’s net income for the first nine months of the year is up $7.3 million, compared to a roughly $11.2 million loss in the same period in 2012.
The railroad was hurt by the shutdown of its Fort Lauderdale Airport project, and higher labor and benefit costs accrued ahead of anticipated union retirements, FEC President and CEO Jim Hertwig said. The company’s capital costs rose $3.9 million year-over-year to $10.1 million, largely because of the construction of an intermodal container transfer facility at the Port of Everglades.
The opening of the facility in the second quarter of 2014, along with recently gained on-dock access at the Port of Miami, will help FEC gain market share, Hertwig told investors during an Oct. 31 conference call. The Jacksonville-based company said its cash balance remains strong, with its balance growing $17.9 million to $42.7 million compared to the same period last year.