Reuters says Panther Expedited is for sale

Updated Feb 29, 2012

I learned today that Panther Expedited Services, Inc. appears to be for sale. Learned by reading this news report. I also learned  â€” precise to the penny, for each month and for the year â€” what our 2011 cost per mile, revenue per mile, cost per day and revenue per day were. Learned by finishing work on our 2011 spreadsheet.

Diane and I woke up this morning in our Florida vacation house where we have been since early January. We will be back on the road soon.

What a difference a day makes! The end is in sight. The articles, tax work and projects I need to finish up before getting back on the road are nearly complete. There is more to do (always!) but that can be done on the road. We moved a few things back into the truck today and started to close down the house. We will be ready to roll Thursday morning if not before.

The Panther news story was very interesting but only unnamed sources were cited, a Panther spokesman declined to comment, and no details were provided. Panther is one of the largest (by fleet size), if not the largest carrier in the expedite industry. The industry itself consists of about 15,000 trucks of various types, including cargo vans, and a low hundreds number of carriers, most of them small.

When a carrier changes hands, it puts owner-operators in motion; some changing carriers and some staying put but following the crowd to the new home. Even without carriers being bought and sold, the driver turnover rate is high; high, but significantly lower than the turnover rate in the greater trucking industry. The names on the trucks change but the big picture remains mostly the same; which is 15,000 trucks and a number of carriers competing to haul expedited freight.

About my spreadsheet, I tweak it a bit every year and like to think it gets better with each tweak. It is probably better, smarter and easier to use an off-the-shelf product but I am too stubborn to do that, at least when it comes to spreadsheets. I don’t build the furniture that goes in our house but feel the need to build my spreadsheet from scratch. Go figure.

Looking at our full-year income and expenses for 2011, Diane and I are pleased. We are especially pleased to see that the carrier change we made half way through 2011 was the right move. I have written a lot about how the culture is better here. It is nice to see that the money is too. The best thing about the 2011 spreadsheet is that it validates financially the carrier-change decision we made eight months ago.

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