How Old Dominion Freight Line’s 3Q17 Operating Stats Look



Less-than-truckload carriers

Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) is an industry-leading LTL (less than truckload) carrier. Measured by 2015 revenues, the company is the fourth largest LTL motor carrier. ODFL’s LTL services include ground and air expedited transportation for time-definite deliveries, residential pickup and delivery, and shipment services across North America.

Before releasing its quarterly earnings, ODFL releases the key operating stats in the last month of the quarter. In the first week of September, the company provided an update on its 3Q17 operating statistics, which could shed light on the current trends in LTL yield and overall pricing.

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ODFL’s operating stats for 3Q17

In August 2017, the company’s LTL tons per day rose 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. This was on account of a 6.6% jump in LTL shipments per day and a 0.8% rise in LTL weight per shipment. For the third quarter to September 6, its LTL revenue per hundredweight rose 4.1% compared to the corresponding period last year.

In mid-August 2017, Old Dominion Freight Line announced a general rate increase of 3.5% applicable to rates for its ODFL 559, 670, and 550 tariffs effective on September 1, 2017. Note that on September 18, 2017, FedEx (FDX) announced a 4.9% rise in shipping rate in the FedEx Freight segment effective January 1, 2018. FedEx carries all its LTL operations through its freight vertical.

The iShares U.S. Industrials ETF (IYJ) holds 4.8% in major US airlines (DAL) and 6.1% in prominent US railroads (UNP).

What the CEO said

David Congdon, vice chair and CEO of ODFL, said, “Our revenue growth for the first two months of the third quarter is consistent with the second quarter trend and includes a nice balance of volume and yield. The domestic economy continues to show signs of strength, which we believe provides us with an ongoing opportunity to win market share by delivering superior service at a fair price to our customers.”

The growth across ODFL’s LTL operating metrics certainly points towards a rising trend. But is it the same with SAIA? Let’s go through its metrics in the next article.


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