Major carriers’ revenue, income continue to slip in 2017

| August 23, 2017

Werner Enterprises was one of three publicly traded carriers to report gains in both revenue and income. Landstar Systems, the country’s largest owner-operator fleet, also reported increased revenue and profit.

Revenue and income for some of the country’s largest carriers, as reported over the last few weeks in their public quarterly earnings reports issued to shareholders, dipped in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

This is a continuation of a trend seen in 2016, when many of the same publicly traded carriers reported dips in revenue and profit.

The stats are also in line with owner-operator income for the first half of the year. Like owner-operators, publicly traded large fleets reported higher fuel costs than the same period the year prior, despite cheaper diesel prices.

The carriers also reported greater expenditures on so-called purchased transportation — hiring owner-operators or small carriers to move loads.

Landstar Systems, the country’s largest owner-operator fleet, reported greater revenue and greater income in the first half of 2017. Its revenue grew to $1.651 billion from $1.487 billion in 2016’s first half. Its income rose from $61.5 million to $69.9 million.

2017 owner-operator income: Flatbedding hot, reefer hauling chilly

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Marten Transport and Werner Enterprises were the only other publicly traded trucking companies to report gains in revenue and income. Marten’s revenue grew to $344.7 million, from $328 million, and its income grew to $17.4 million, from $16.7 million. Werner revenue grew to $1.021 billion, from $981.4 million, and its income rose slightly from $38.4 million to $39.2 million.

Covenant Transportation reported higher revenue, $315.1 million last year to $323 million this year, but its income tumbled from $7.4 million to $1.5 million, due to higher operating costs.

J.B. Hunt reported the same: Higher revenue ($3.012 billion, from 2016’s $291 billion), but shorter income ($313 million, down from 2016’s $343.7 million). P.A.M. Transportation also reported higher revenue but lower income.

Heartland Express, Knight Transportation, Swift and USA Truck all reported dips in revenue and income.

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