J.B. Hunt Transport Services stayed well ahead of a slowing economy in the third quarter, increasing its profit 32 percent from a year ago to $68.7 million.
The intermodal trucker’s revenue rose 19 percent in the third quarter to $1.17 billion as the number of intermodal loads it handled increased 15 percent. That compares with a 22 percent increase in revenue in the second quarter to $1.15 billion and a 26 percent year-over-year increase in net profit for that quarter.
Intermodal rates were up 4 percent, while truck rates from “consistent shippers” increased 3 percent, excluding fuel surcharges, the Lowell, Ark., company said. Trucking demand was softer than a year ago, “resulting in fewer yield management opportunities,” the company said in a statement, available on its Web site.
The $3.7 billion company’s intermodal revenue jumped 24 percent to $691 million, while intermodal operating profit rose 30 percent to $78.4 million. Much of the growth was in the Eastern U.S., where J.B. Hunt increased intermodal volume 31 percent. Transcontinental intermodal volume was up 8 percent.
Revenue from Dedicated Contract Services rose 16 percent to $269 million. The division’s operating profit increased 34 percent to $29.7 million. Dedicated revenue increased partly due to new business and also additional trucks. The division increased its tractor count 8.6 percent from a year ago to 4,906.
J.B. Hunt’s truck division decreased its tractor count by 6.9 percent to 2,605, and it’s over-the-road trucking revenue rose 2 percent to $127 million. Revenue from the non-asset Integrated Capacity Solutions division rose 21 percent to $93 million and its operating profit rose 43 percent to $3.8 million.