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Which US Truckload Carriers Performed Best in 3Q17 Revenue?

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Revenue growth in 3Q17

In the first part of this series, we looked at the American Trucking Associations’ insights into the US trucking industry (XLI) for 2018. In this part, we’ll examine the 3Q17 revenues and growth for the major US truckload carriers we’re covering in this series: JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT), Landstar System (LSTR), Werner Enterprises (WERN), Ryder System (R), and Heartland Express (HTLD). All these companies follow the uniform financial year, which ends in December.

Why Heartland topped 3Q17 revenue growth

Heartland Express (HTLD) reported a 22% growth in 3Q17 operating revenues to $182.1 million, from $149.3 million in the third quarter 2016. Its revenues primarily rose due to higher trucking and other revenues and increased fuel surcharge revenues. HTLD’s net trucking revenue rose due to higher loaded miles. Loaded miles rose due to the Interstate Distributor acquisition in 3Q17.

Landstar System (LSTR) ranked second in the group with a 19.7% rise in 3Q17 revenues. In that quarter, its revenues were $943.4 million, a $155.4 million rise from $787.9 million in the third quarter of 2016. Its revenues rose due to a 13% rise in loads hauled and 6% higher revenue per load in the reported quarter.

Landstar was followed by JB Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) with a 9% rise YoY (year-over-year) in revenue for 3Q17. Its revenues were $1.8 billion compared to $1.7 billion in the same quarter last year. Revenues rose primarily due to a 6% rise in intermodal load, a 14% growth in revenue-producing trucks and a 17% increase in revenue per load in its Integrated Capacity Solutions segment.

Ryder System’s (R) 3Q17 revenues rose 7% to $1.8 billion from $1.7 billion last year. The growth in revenue was due to higher subcontracted transportation passed through to clients and increased fuel surcharge revenues. Higher revenue in the Supply Chain Solutions vertical and increased contractual ChoiceLease revenues also increased Ryder’s revenues.

Werner Enterprises (WERN) ranked last in terms of 3Q17 revenue growth. Its revenues rose ~4% to $528.6 million, from $508.6 million in last year’s second quarter. WERN’s Truckload segment revenues rose 6.1% in the reported quarter. Improved demand in WERN’s one-way truckload fleet increased the Truckload segment’s revenues.

In the next part, we’ll look at operating margins in 3Q17 for these truckload carriers.

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