The Arkansas-based carrier posted good news this week, as operations and load grew significantly during the late summer months, attributed to new contracts. The company attributed its net earnings growth primarily to the growth of revenue, slightly less interest expense and a slightly lower tax rate.
Reports indicated load growth of 15 percent in its Intermodal segment and 38 percent in its Integrated Capacity Solutions segment helped drive 15 percent and 30 percent increases in segment revenue, respectively. J.B. Hunt’s operating income totaled $133 million vs. $119 million as positive results from load growth and improved network balance. However, this also came as a result of a 9% downturn in operating drivers.
Meanwhile, Heartland Express, one of the nation’s largest carriers experienced only moderately low growth over the same period due to problems with driver retention and unstable fuel pricing.
“The industry continues to be challenged by the shortage of qualified drivers and erratic fuel prices,” the company said. “We achieved minimal fleet growth in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2011. We continue to aggressively manage our fuel cost through newer model revenue equipment and strategic fuel purchasing decisions.”
Net income was $12.4 million in the 2012 quarter period compared to $15.4 million in the 2011 quarter period, a 19.3 percent decrease.