Smithway's losses continue

Truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress Corp. lost $2 million on revenues of $41 million in the first quarter this year, a continuation of its financial troubles since losing $1.3 million on $45.5 million in the same period last year. A combination of tractors without drivers, seasonally slow freight demand, and continued weakness in the steel and construction materials industries throughout the Midwest

Truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress Corp. lost $2 million on revenues of $41 million in the first quarter this year, a continuation of its financial troubles since losing $1.3 million on $45.5 million in the same period last year.

A combination of tractors without drivers, seasonally slow freight demand, and continued weakness in the steel and construction materials industries throughout the Midwest were the main contributors to the loss, said Smithway president & CEO William G. Smith. For the quarter, revenue per loaded mile increased approximately 3% over the same period last year, Smith said.

"This was the result of a focused sales effort and better freight selection as we increased rates selectively and reduced exposure to lower-priced freight," he said. "This is a process we intend to continue and accelerate with the implementation of our new operating system this summer."

Smith said exiting some less desirable freight contributed to lower miles per tractor, and re-balancing lanes in a time of slow freight demand increased non-revenue miles. However, he said the company believes more disciplined freight selection will raise revenue per tractor.

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