U.S. Xpress watches 4Q revenue rise, losses narrow

Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises of Chattanooga, TN, said its operating revenues increased 3% for the fourth quarter of 2001, while it narrowed its losses by more than 50%. U.S. Xpress said its operating revenues jumped 3% to $201.6 million in the fourth quarter of, up from $195.7 million for the same quarter in 2000. The carrier incurred a net loss of $599,000 for the quarter, compared to

Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress Enterprises of Chattanooga, TN, said its operating revenues increased 3% for the fourth quarter of 2001, while it narrowed its losses by more than 50%.

U.S. Xpress said its operating revenues jumped 3% to $201.6 million in the fourth quarter of, up from $195.7 million for the same quarter in 2000. The carrier incurred a net loss of $599,000 for the quarter, compared to $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.

For the year, the carrier's operating revenues increased 1.4% to $798.0 million, up from $787.1 million in 2000. For 2001, the company reported a net loss of $1.1 million, compared to net income of $2.1 million in 2000.

Patrick Quinn, co-chairman of U.S. Xpress, said the economic recession hurt the carrier's earnings.

"We continued to encounter a difficult economy and freight environment throughout 2001, especially in the long-haul segment of our truckload operations," he said. "The impact on our truckload margins was mitigated to an extent by a reduction in fixed operating costs and lower fuel prices."

Quinn added that results for both the quarter and 2001 were adversely impacted by operating losses from the start up and expansion in 2001of a division of CSI/Crown that provides expedited airport-to-airport services to the air cargo industry.

This year, the carrier plans to expand its tractor fleet by 7.8%, which includes a 25% increase in owner operators, reducing fixed costs in our truckload operations. U.S. Xpress also raised $107 million in long-term revenue equipment financing and extending the maturity of our revolving credit facility to July 2003.

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