Smithway watches losses mount

Truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress of Fort Dodge, IA, continues to have a rough year, losing $1.2 million in the third quarter, adding to its $2.9 million worth of losses in the first nine months of 2001. Smithway said that for the third quarter of 2001, its operating revenue decreased 3.3% to $48.6 million, down from $50.2 million in the third quarter in 2000. Its net loss for the quarter totaled

Truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress of Fort Dodge, IA, continues to have a rough year, losing $1.2 million in the third quarter, adding to its $2.9 million worth of losses in the first nine months of 2001.

Smithway said that for the third quarter of 2001, its operating revenue decreased 3.3% to $48.6 million, down from $50.2 million in the third quarter in 2000. Its net loss for the quarter totaled $1.2 million, compared with net earnings of $21,000 last year.

For the first nine months of 2001, the news was even worse for Smithway. The carrier said its operating revenues decreased 2.9% to $147.7 million in the first none months of 2001, down from $152.0 million in 2000. Net losses climbed to $2.9 million, compared with net earnings of $266,000 last year.

"An economy in recession, a depressed market for used trucks, and rising insurance costs for nearly all carriers have contributed to a very difficult operating environment," said William G. Smith, Smithway’s president & CEO. " On the expense side, insurance and claims costs increased significantly year over year due to a hardening of the insurance markets."

Smith added that, to control operating costs, the carrier will continue to limit the addition of new equipment and lengthened its trade cycle for tractors to address the depressed market for used equipment and constrain fleet growth until freight demand improves.

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