Forward Air says it is satisfied with the level of demand and pricing in the air freight trucking business, signaling the company is in no hurry to raise rates this fall after reporting its best results in two years.
“We’re pleased with the way our rates are today,” Bruce Campbell, chairman, president and CEO, said in a conference call with investment analysts. “We continually assess when it’s appropriate to increase rates again, but as we sit here today, we’re happy.”
The dominant operator in domestic airport-to-airport trucking reported an $8.9 million net profit in the third quarter, more than double its earnings a year ago and the largest profit since the third quarter of 2008.
By The Numbers: Air Freight Price Index.
The improvement came on a 23 percent gain in overall revenue, to $105.1 million. The airport-to-airport business, which makes up some 80 percent of the company’s revenue, grew 22.7 percent over the third quarter a year ago and reached its highest point since 2008’s third quarter.
That revenue still remains behind the level of two years ago, however, and the steady improvement in profit margin hasn’t brought that key measure up to the margins Forward Air reported in 2008.
But Campbell said the overall market is “pretty nice” and that the company is in a solid recovery.
“All indicators tell us it’s pretty good,” Campbell said of the domestic economy. “It’s not great, it’s not what I would call robust, but it’s good.”