Lack of capacity pushes profits up for J.B. Hunt

J.B. Hunt Transport Services said its second-quarter revenues earnings are up significantly over the numbers it posted in the same period last year, reflecting increased demand within the intermodal, dedicated contract services (DCS), and truckload segments of its business

J.B. Hunt Transport Services said its second-quarter revenues earnings are up significantly over the numbers it posted in the same period last year, reflecting increased demand within the intermodal, dedicated contract services (DCS), and truckload segments of its business.

Hunt said its second-quarter total operating revenue, including fuel surcharges, reached $943 million – a 22% increase over the $770 million it reported in the second quarter of 2009. Net earnings in the second quarter reached $52.1 million vs. $24.0 million in the same period last year.

Operating income for the second quarter increased to $91.3 million, compared to $47.1 million in the second quarter of 2009, the company added. That was primarily due to a 54% increase in intermodal operating income, a 177% increase in DCS operating income and positive truckload income vs. a loss last year.

“Demand for transportation services has increased fairly dramatically as we have emerged from a multi-year freight recession,” said Kirk Thompson, J. B. Hunt president & CEO, in the earnings release.

“Scarcity of capacity in intermodal, truckload and brokerage markets was quite pronounced in the current quarter [and] we saw our business improve sequentially throughout the quarter as reflected in higher prices in intermodal and truckload as the quarter unfolded,” he noted.

Though intermodal pricing was down 2.7% from the second quarter last year, pricing increased 2.4% from April to June this year, Thompson added. Truckload pricing trends even more evident, as the company’s overall rate per mile, excluding fuel surcharges, improved 8.3% from April to June this year.

“Across all segments demand was solid throughout the quarter with no evidence of renewed weakness,” Thompson stressed. “Shippers increasingly have exhibited concern about the supply/demand imbalance as their ability to secure adequate capacity has become more difficult.”

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