Minneapolis-based truckload carrier Transport Corporation of America (TCAM) barely stayed profitable in the third quarter – earning $36,000 on $65.7 million in revenue – as accidents and higher insurance costs hurt its bottom line.
“While our underlying business fundamentals and the demand for freight continues to remain very strong, [we] experienced an unfortunate increase in accident costs in the third quarter,” said Michael Paxton, chairman, president & CEO. “Insurance, claims and damage expense totaled $3.9 million, or 6% of revenue, during the third quarter compared to $2.4 million, or 3.8% of revenue, for the same period in 2003. While we are disappointed with these increased accident costs, we believe this to be an anomaly.”
The company’s freight revenues were also down slightly for the quarter, dropping 1.5% to $60.9 million as compared to the same quarter in 2003 after excluding money gained from fuel surcharges.
“However, our operating statistics continue to demonstrate the merits of focusing on lane density and balance,” Paxton noted. “Revenue per tractor per week, excluding fuel surcharge, increased by 5.8% to $2,882 and revenue per loaded mile, excluding the fuel surcharge increased by 5.6% to $1.50 in the third quarter. This marks the seventh consecutive quarter we have experienced an increase in our average revenue per loaded mile.”
For the first nine months of 2004, TCAM’s net income rose to $900,000 on slightly lower revenues of $193.1 million, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million on revenues of $196.8 million over the same period in 2003. Excluding fuel surcharges, however, revenues decreased 3.7% to $181.3 million for the first nine months of 2004.