Stronger pricing and freight volume pushed Landstar System's third-quarter revenue up to $623 million, a 24 percent increase from a year ago.
But slower economic growth was reflected in a 3 percent drop in revenue from the second quarter, as truckload volume declined 8 percent sequentially.
The company also reduced the amount of less-than-truckload freight it carries in substitute line-haul service for LTL carriers.
By The Numbers: U.S. IMC Highway Yield.
That reflects better alignment of volume and capacity at Landstar's LTL customers, according to analyst Jon A. Langenfeld of R.W. Baird & Co.
The trucking operator's profit rose 8.4 percent year-over-year to $21.8 million, while its operating income rose nearly 10 percent to $34.9 million.
Net income fell 11 percent from the second quarter thanks to a $3.8 million one-time charge. Otherwise, it was essentially flat from the previous period.
Landstar's revenue per load rose 12 percent year-over-year and 6 percent from the second quarter, excluding fuel surcharges. Dry van truckload pricing was up 16 percent from a year ago and 3 percent from the previous quarter.
Tight truckload capacity should benefit Landstar, which operates several carriers, even in a slower-paced economy, company officials and analysts said.
Looking ahead, "I see moderately increased load volume compared to the 2009 fourth quarter and a strong pricing environment due to tight capacity," said Henry Gerkens, chairman, president and CEO.
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