Refrigerated truckload carrier Marten Transport remained profitable for 2002, though its earnings declined compared to 2001 as rising insurance premiums and "extremely weak" freight demand in the first quarter of last year increased operating costs.
For the fourth quarter of 2002, Marten said its revenues increased to $76.3 million compared to $70.4 million over the same period last year. However, net income slipped to $579,000 compared to $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.
President Randolph Marten noted that fuel surcharges increased $1.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2001, due to the significant rise in diesel fuel prices by the end of the year.
For the year, Mondovi, WI-based Marten said its net income increased to $6 million on revenues of $293.1 million, compared to net income of $6.5 million on revenues of $282.2 million in 2001.
"The impact of rising operating costs within a prolonged economic slowdown is reflected clearly in the increase in our decline in earnings," said Marten. "Insurance and claims expense again increased sharply, and we faced intense competition for qualified drivers throughout the year."