The truckload carrier Knight Transportation saw its first quarter profit surge 26% above the level from the same time a year ago, according to just released numbers.

Net income for the Arizona-based operation increased to $19.1 from $15.2 million while total revenue increased 5.8% to $249.2 million. Earnings per diluted share increased to 23 cents from 19 cents.

Revenue per tractor increased 5.1%, year over year, as a result of a 4.9% improvement in revenue per loaded mile, a 4.2% increase in length of haul, a 140 basis point improvement in non-paid empty mile percentage, and a 1.3% decrease in miles per tractor, according to the company.

“In the first quarter of 2014 our trucking businesses improved their operating ratio to 82.% from 85.3% in the same quarter last year. Our brokerage business continues to grow rapidly and increased revenue 94.4%, increased gross margin 91.2%, and increased operating income 89.2%, when compared to the same quarter last year,” said Kevin Knight, Chairman and CEO.

More information about the company’s financial performance is on the Knight Transportation website.