Refrigerated truckload carrier Marten Transport said higher operating expenses and an inability to raise freight rates helped cut its net income in half this quarter compared to the same period in 2001.
Mondovi, WI-based Marten said revenue dropped to $68 million in the first quarter of 2002, down from $70 million in the same quarter last year. Net income dropped to $689,000, compared to over $1.64 million in the first quarter of 2001.
Chairman & president Randolph L. Marten said a combination of higher operating costs – including insurance – and pressure on freight rates pushed earnings down.
"The pressure on rates has grown more intense over the past year, reflecting a swing in shipping capacity nationally from a shortage to over-capacity," he said. "At the same time, operating expenses have continued to rise. Our insurance and claims expense increased to 5.1% of revenue in the first quarter from 2.6% over the same period last year."