Fleet Management

Driver Turnover Hurts Profits for USA Truck

July 19, 2000

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Despite a 5.4% increase in revenue per mile and over 50% revenue growth, USA Truck Inc. recorded a 51.5% drop in net income for the second quarter of 2000.

“We continue to be pleased with our revenue growth, most of which came from revenue retained from the acquisition of CCC Express, and our ability to recover fuel cost increases through rate adjustments,” said President and CEO Robert Powell.
But Powell said they have “not been able to control the increase in driver turnover,” which is now at record highs for the company. Turnover, he added, led to an 8.2% decline in tractor utilization from 2,449 miles per week to 2,248. USA Truck increased driver pay in July after a survey showed that they were losing many good drivers to carriers that paid more.
“We believe our new pay scale will help the company retain good drivers, increase the number of experienced drivers hired, and reduce costs associated with recruiting, training and accidents while increasing productivity,” Powell said. The wage increase will negatively impact earnings initially but cost efficiencies, productivity improvement and rate adjustments should reduce the impact over the next few quarters, he added.
USA Truck’s second quarter operating revenues were $58.4 million, up from $38.1 million for second quarter 1999. Net income was $1.2 million versus $2.4 million a year earlier. Revenue per mile was $1.18 versus $1.12 last year.
For the first six months ending June 30, operating revenue was $113.5 million versus $74.3 million the first half of 1999. Net income was $785,682 versus $4.8 million the same period last year.
USA Truck is a medium haul, common and contract carrier specializing in truckload general commodities.

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