Trucking operator Arkansas Best returned to profit in 2011, reporting a $6.8 million net profit for the full year, compared with a $32.6 million loss in 2010.
The holding company that owns ABF Freight System, the fifth-largest U.S. less-than-truckload carrier, increased its revenue 15.1 percent in 2011 to $1.9 billion.
ABF Freight had an operating profit of $4.7 million in 2011, compared with a $59.6 million operating loss in 2010. ABF revenue rose 14 percent to $1.7 billion.
The company has been expanding beyond its core long-haul LTL business, reaching deeper into global and regional freight markets and non-asset brokerage.
“More of our shipments now are regional than are long haul,” Roy Slagle, the new president and CEO of the Fort Smith, Ark.-based company, said in November.
Arkansas Best’s non-asset truck brokerage business increased shipments 17.1 percent last year and reported $25.4 million in revenue, a 32 percent increase.
The earnings “represent an important step toward achieving our goal of returning to historical profitability levels,” said Judy R. McReynolds, president and CEO.
ABF reported $2.5 million in operating profit on $422.1 million in revenue in the fourth quarter. In year-ago period, the LTL trucker lost $7.8 million.
Higher freight demand and pricing helped pull ABF back into the black. The carrier’s tonnage per day increased 7.6 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
Revenue per hundredweight or yield, a measure of pricing, efficiency and fuel surcharges, increased 12.8 percent in the quarter and 10 percent in 2011.