Werner Enterprises boosted net profit 11 percent in the second quarter to $30.7 million despite a year-over-year decline in truckload miles and revenue.
The $2 billion carrier’s total revenue rose 1 percent to $521.8 million, but Werner’s trucking revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, dropped 1 percent to $332 million.
Miles per truck and average loaded length of haul both declined 3.4 percent, Werner said, as empty miles increased 3.6 percent compared to the year-ago period.
Still, average revenue per total mile, excluding fuel surcharges, rose 2.6 percent, and revenue per loaded mile grew 3.1 percent, indicating price increases.
That contributed to a truckload segment operating ratio of 89.6 percent, excluding fuel surcharges, for the second quarter, compared with 89.8 percent a year ago.
Capacity in the truckload freight market was "balanced" in the second quarter, the company said. Werner kept its truck count at 7,300 tractors.
"Current freight rate relief is not keeping pace with the increased costs and capital requirements" of more expensive new trucks, the company said.
The carrier's non-asset business, which includes brokerage, intermodal and logistics services, is growing at a much faster clip.
Werner's Value Added Services division increased revenue 18 percent, as the total number of shipments it handled rose 7 percent from year ago levels.
Brokerage-related revenue increased 11 percent on a 10 percent increase in shipments and a 1 percent increase in average revenue per shipment.
The year-over-year results provide more evidence of slowing economy growth, though Werner said freight markets strengthened in the last month of the quarter.
“Second quarter 2012 freight demand demonstrated typical seasonal trends and improved into June similar to second quarter 2011,” the company said.
However, Werner’s total revenue growth trailed its 6.2 percent expansion rate in the first quarter and 10 percent growth in the 2011 fourth and third quarters.
Werner’s total revenue increased 11 percent in the 2011 second quarter at $515.9 million. Trucking revenue was up 2 percent a year ago, at $333.7 million.