The parent company to less-than-truckload carrier ABF Freight System and ground expedite fleet Panther Expedited Services reported a profit in the final quarter of 2013 after reporting a loss a year earlier.

Arkansas Best's fourth quarter 2013 net income was $10.3 million or 38 cents per share, compared to a fourth quarter 2012 net loss of $7.9 million or 31 cents per share. Revenue was $578.5 million compared to $537 million during the same time period for the Arkansas-based operation.

For 2013 Arkansas Best had net income of $15.8 million or 59 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $7.7 million or 31 cents per share in 2012. Revenue was $2.3 billion, an increase of 11% compared to $2.1 billion in 2012.

"After a very challenging year in which we negotiated and implemented a new five-year labor agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I am very pleased to report that ABF Freight ended the year with solid profitability, substantially reversing the unacceptable trend of losses in 2012," said Arkansas Best president and CEO Judy R. McReynolds. "

“Increased business levels and improved account pricing were the primary factors that contributed to fourth quarter 2013 profitability at ABF Freight,” the company said in a statement. “A better customer shipping environment and a more stable economy provided additional shipments in the ABF Freight network. This resulted in greater capacity utilization that contributed to improved fourth quarter results. In addition, cost savings related to the early November implementation of ABF Freight's new labor agreement positively impacted the quarter,” 

The company’s Panther Expedited Services, experienced “significant improvement in fourth quarter profitability as operating income nearly tripled on higher quarterly revenue,” it said.

More details are on the Arkansas Best webiste