As a result of lower demand for transportation services, excess capacity and downward pricing pressure, Frozen Food Express Industries, Dallas, reported a loss of $2.6 million, or $0.15 a share, in the third quarter
. While it's a narrower loss than the company's second quarter, this compares to net income of $1.4 million, or $0.08 a share, in the year-ago period.

The temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload carrier had revenue of $82 million excluding fuel surcharges, a 16.8 percent drop from $98.6 million in the third quarter of 2008. Total revenue was down 28.7 percent to $94.5 million from $132.5 million in 2008.

"2009 has undoubtedly been the toughest operating conditions our industry has seen in quite some time," said Stoney M. Stubbs, president and CEO. "We continue to experience significant revenue and profit challenges that we believe are the result of the weak economy, increased unemployment and changes in consumer buying habits. While our results reflect the negative impact of the current economic recession, we continue to place an emphasis on cost controls while focusing on customer initiatives to incrementally increase revenue and profits which has allowed our results to improve every quarter during 2009."

Some of those cost control efforts include entering into a two-year credit agreement with Comerica Bank and cutting its non-driver headcount. Since the beginning of the year, the company has suspended its 401(k) match, reduced standard work week hours, decreased its recruiting efforts, terminated equipment leases, reduced travel expenses and streamlined existing processes.

"We are taking every conceivable action to control costs and implement sales initiatives to drive incremental revenue during this severe economic recession, while at the same time managing our cash position to ensure liquidity," Stubbs said. "We are taking a very aggressive approach in managing our balance sheet and working capital. We have ended each quarter this year with no amounts due on our revolver and we believe we will be well positioned in the future when the overall economy and the transportation industry rebounds."