"This economic recession has been unprecedented in its length and depth," said Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best president and CEO. "Its impact on the LTL industry has accelerated the level of price competition throughout 2009, and the fourth quarter was no exception."
The company's revenue for the quarter was $371.6 million, down from $391.2 million during the 2008 quarter.
ABF Freight System, the less-than-truckload subsidiary of Arkansas Best, posted an operating loss of $32.4 million, versus a loss of $15.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenue was down to $347.7 million compared to $375.2 million in the fourth quarter 2008. Tonnage per day fell 1.6 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.
"Although the economy has presented us with extreme challenges, the strength of our balance sheet and the depth and experience of the ABF team have allowed us to continue our focus on enhancing our services to customers," said McReynolds. "A high standard of dependability, superior cargo care and adaptability to customer-specific requirements are the important elements of that focus."