An unusually mild winter, tight truck capacity and steady freight demand helped many publicly owned trucking companies improve revenue and profit year-over-year in the first quarter, usually the slowest period of the year for trucking.
Among the publicly owned truckload carriers, some companies saw profits soar: Celadon Trucking’s net profit rose 147.8 percent to $5.7 million, while Swift Transportation, the largest truckload carrier, increased its net profit 93.1 percent to $6.2 million. Regional Less-than-truckload carrier Saia improved its bottom line a staggering 676.3 percent from a year ago, reporting a $5.5 million net profit. But the LTL sector still struggled with the aftermath of a fierce price war in 2009 and 2010. Of the three largest LTL carriers, FedEx Freight reported a $1 million loss and YRC Freight a $56.1 million loss, while Con-way Freight had a $34.5 million profit. A "rational" pricing environment is helping LTL carriers improve their bottom line.
The charts in this second-quarter Trucking Dashboard show changes in carrier operating ratios, truckload capacity, LTL yield, trucking hiring trends and truckload fuel surcharges as a percentage of revenue and percentage of fuel spend.