Stifel Nicolaus (www.stifel.com) reported financial and operational gains for publicly traded truckload carriers in Q2. The Stifel industry sector Snapshot for the TL sector showed a modest gain of 1.1% in revenue per loaded mile excluding fuel surcharge. The heavy bid activity of 2009 continues to dampen year-over-year comparisons. Spot market TL rates have risen but the level of increase in contract pricing is less than spot prices and it takes longer for contract rates to expire. It's been a pretty tough pricing market for the TL carriers since 2006 Q3. Operating ratios improved substantially from Q1 2010 and from Q2 of last year and are only a point or two away margins experienced before the recession. Truck utilization also shows gains over 2009 and is nearly back to normal levels. With better utilization and a small boost in yields, it is not surprising to see strong EPS growth over a very weak 2009.
Graph reproduced with permission from Stifel Nicolaus. For more information contact: JGLarkin@Stifel.com