Regional trucking specialist Saia announced a new round of cost reductions Friday after reporting a $6.3 million loss in a first quarter marked by declining demand and falling prices.
The Georgia-based less-than-truckload carrier saw revenue fall 17 percent in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period last year, to $206.1 million. Revenue per shipment in its core LTL business fell 11.3 percent from last year’s first quarter.
The pullback, including a 6.2 percent drop in LTL shipments, helped drag Saia’s cash holdings down from $27.1 million at the start of this year to just short of $12 million at the end of the quarter ending March 31.
Saia said it is responding with “targeted sales and marketing programs” and “aggressive cost reductions supported by engineered efficiency initiatives.” The company said that included cutting the work force by 11 percent in the quarter and eliminating one division and four regions from its management oversight structure. The carrier earlier in the month announced a 10 percent cut in management wages and a 5 percent pay cut for hourly workers.
Operating efficiencies helped cut labor costs per freight bill 5 percent compared to last year, the company said, but the shipment count fell at a faster rate, sending Saia from a $2 million operating profit in last year’s first quarter to a $7.5 million operating loss this year.