"We have observed an increase in the size and quantity of carrier failures in recent months," the carrier said in a statement. "Gradually improving demand is also helping, and we anticipate that steady improvement will continue as we progress throughout 2010."
Revenues rose 8 percent to $425.1 million in the first quarter, compared to $394.5 million in the first quarter 2009. Earnings were up 56 percent to 15 cents a share, compared to 10 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.
Meanwhile, trucking revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, fell 1 percent to $303.7 million, down from $308 million in first quarter 2009.
According to the Omaha, Neb.-based company, its daily number of accepted loads improved from the first quarter 2009, as did pricing for spot market business in one-way truckload.
"We managed through some near term cost challenges in first quarter 2010," the carrier said. "The extreme weather conditions that occurred during January and February 2010 negatively impacted our miles per truck, increased our maintenance costs, and lowered our miles per gallon due to increased engine idling. In addition, the significant year-over-year increase in the price of fuel negatively impacted results. Increased unemployment taxes resulting from states raising their unemployment tax rates reduced earnings by one cent per share in first quarter 2010 compared to first quarter 2009."