Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Truckload carrier and logistics provider Knight Transportation announced Wednesday its fourth quarter 2013 profit increased 12.7% to $20.1 million or 25 cents per share, from $17.7 million or 22 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue during the same time grew to $249.7 million, a 3.1% increase, from $242.3 million for the Arizona-based operation.

For all of 2013, profit increased 8.1% to $69.3 million or 86 cents per share, from $64.1 million, or 80 cents per share. Revenue during the same time increased 3.5% to $969.2 million from $936 million.

''We were pleased with our ability to grow revenue while simultaneously improving our operating margin. We believe this is a result of improved freight demand and meaningful progress on several internal initiatives focused on improving production, recruiting and developing driving associates, providing industry-leading service, and intensifying our cost control efforts,” said Kevin Knight, chairman and CEO. “Our revenue per tractor improved 3.2%, year over year, as a result of a 3.4% improvement in revenue per total mile with a 1.3% decrease in our length of haul. Miles per tractor were down 0.2%, as we were able to mitigate much of the impact from the new industry-wide regulations governing hours of service that went into effect in July 2013.

He said the company’s asset based businesses (dry van, refrigerated, and port services) significantly improved their operating ratio to 81.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 83.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012, while its non-asset based businesses (brokerage, intermodal, and other) grew revenue 42.6% with an operating ratio of 95.6%, led by strong performance in our brokerage business.

More details are on the Knight Transportation website