Arkansas Best Corp., a holding company of LTL operations, said its total net income for the first quarter of 2001 dropped to $9.1 million compared to 2000 first quarter income of $13.2 million. Yet the carrier feels just maintaining profits in the face of a slowing overall economy is a major accomplishment.
“Despite negative U.S. economic conditions, ABF had a very good quarter,” said Robert A. Young III, the carrier’s president and CEO.
ABF Freight System Inc.’s first-quarter revenue was $325.5 million, a slight per-day decline of 0.4% compared to the first quarter of last year. Operating income at ABF during the first three months of this year was $21.0 million versus 2000 first-quarter operating income of $27.2 million. LTL revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, was $21.41, an increase of 6.0% over last year’s first quarter. LTL tonnage per day during the quarter decreased 6.6% versus the same period a year ago.
ABF subsidiary G.I. Trucking Co.’s revenue during this year's first quarter was $40.5 million, representing a per-day increase of 9.2% over the same period last year. First-quarter operating income at G.I. was $342,000. Total pounds per day increased 6.8% over the first quarter of 2000. Revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, during this year's first quarter increased 2.3% over last year.
ABF’s other subsidiary, Clipper, did not fare as well. Though first-quarter revenues climbed to $30.8 million, which represented a per-day increase of 5.7% over last year, it did not make a profit. Its first-quarter operating ratio was 101.1%, compared to a 2000 first-quarter operating ratio of 99.9%.