LTL earnings reports for 2016 were at lower levels than the year before

YRC reported a $7.5 million net loss in the fourth quarter, or 23 cents a share, better than the $23.5 million loss, or 73 cents, in the last three months of 2015. Revenue was up 0.5% to $1.15 billion. “The impact of the economy and freight environment resulted in shipments being down on a year-over-year basis at YRC Freight and their regional carriers,” CEO James Welch said in a conference call. “With industrial shipments comprising approximately 50% to 60% of our revenue, we would have, obviously, liked to have seen growth in this part of the economy,”. At YRC Freight division, revenue dropped 0.5% to $730.3 in the quarter but rose 2.2% to $418 million in their Regional Transportation segment.

Old Dominion reported $68.5 million in profits, or 83 cents, down 5.1% versus the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue rose 1.5% to $745.7 million. “The overall fourth-quarter operating environment was similar to what we experienced through 2016. We had a slow start to the quarter, but our revenue and tonnage marginally improved on a year-over-year basis, as the quarter progressed,” according to Old Dominion Vice Chairman and CEO David Congdon. “These trends, combined with the increase in LTL weight per shipment and other improving macroeconomic indicators for the fourth quarter, provided us with a sense of cautious optimism for an improved economy in 2017, which also concurs with economic forecasts or improved GDP”.

ArcBest posted net income of $1.58 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $688.2 million. In the last three months of 2015, they earned $4.99 million, or 19 cents, on revenue of $648.1 million saying “we experienced higher average daily revenue resulting from increased revenue per hundredweight, positively impacted by freight profile changes”. “In the midst of a competitive but rational industry yield environment, our asset-based pricing remained disciplined”.

Saia’s net income dropped 9.1% to $10.3 million, or 40 cents, in the quarter. Last year, the company earned $11.4 million, or 45 cents. Revenue increased 4.4% to $300.2 million “depreciation and amortization expense was up 17.2% in the fourth quarter, a reflection of the significant investments we are making in our fleet, real estate and information technology,” according to Saia CEO Rick O’Dell.

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