How Major US Road Transportation Stocks Fared Last Week



US trucking companies

The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the US economy. Trucks move ~71% all the freight tonnage hauled in the United States. The US transportation and logistics industry spent ~$1.5 trillion in 2015, which represented 8% of the country’s annual gross domestic product.

The wide array of road transportation services includes for-hire freight carriers, freight forwarders, logistics providers, private transportation providers, and companies that maintain and service vehicles.

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Trucking segments

The US trucking industry is made up of truckload companies and less-than-truckload (or LTL) companies. The e-commerce boom has recently caused freight to trend more in favor of LTL companies, pushing the spot prices of LTL carriers higher than those of truckload carriers, which mainly depend on industrial production levels. J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) is an industry leader with a presence in almost all the subsegments of the trucking industry. The company operates full-truckload services, contract logistics, and intermodal operations.

With a series of acquisitions across the United States and Europe, XPO Logistics (XPO) has emerged as a formidable player, offering services in many subsegments of the transportation sector. Other major truckload service providers include Werner Enterprises (WERN), Knight Swift Transport, Schneider (SNDR), and Landstar System (LSTR). Key LTL service providers in the United States include Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL), SAIA (SAIA), YCW Worldwide (YRCW), and ArcBest (ARCB).

Transportation stocks’ price movements last week

As we discussed in the previous article, the Dow Jones Transportation Average (or DJT) fell 1.8% on March 23, 2018, and for the week that ended on that date, it fell 3.9%. The iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) fell 4.3%, and the iShares US Industrials ETF (IYJ) fell 4.8% in the same week. Now let’s take a look at the price changes of major transportation stocks last week:

  • JBHT fell 1.2%.
  • XPO fell 2.5%.
  • ODFL fell 2.1%.
  • WERN fell 4.0%.
  • LSTR fell 3%.
  • YRCW fell 4.5%.
  • SAIA fell 1.1%.

The trucking companies discussed here mainly derive their revenues from US operations. However, companies such as JBHT, XPO, and YRCW are exceptions. In the United States’ potential trade war with China, it doesn’t look like US trucking companies would be directly affected.


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