Photo by Dang Apricot via Wikimedai Commons

Photo by Dang Apricot via Wikimedai Commons

J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced Tuesday second quarter 2014 net earnings of $93.4 million, or diluted earnings per share of 79 cents, compared to second quarter 2013 net earnings of $87.7 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, a 6.5% increase.

Total operating revenue for the current quarter was $1.55 billion, compared with $1.38 billion for the second quarter 2013.

Load growth of 8% in the company’s intermodal and a 15% increase in its logistics businesses, helped drive 9% and 31% increases in segment revenue, respectively, according to the company.

Dedicated segment revenue increased by 15% as productivity improved on large private fleet conversions implemented a year ago.

Truck segment revenue was flat with prior year, with an 8% smaller fleet.

Current quarter total operating revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, increased 13% vs. the comparable quarter 2013.

Operating income for the current quarter totaled $159 million versus $147 million for the second quarter 2013. The company said the increase in operating income -- derived from load growth, customer rate increases and freight mix changes -- was partially offset by lower box turns from slower train velocities, higher driver recruiting and retention costs, higher purchased transportation costs, higher safety and insurance costs and increases in equipment and tire costs compared to second quarter 2013.

“The slowdown in train velocity and the difficult driver recruiting environment has challenged our growth in J.B. Hunt Intermodal. We are pleased we were able to maintain profitability levels despite these obstacles,” said John N. Roberts III, President and CEO. “The worsening driver supply conditions will continue to be a headwind for dedicated contract services and J.B. Hunt Trucking as well. The planned improvement in JBT is ahead of schedule and though there is more to do, we are extremely pleased with the progress thus far.”

The company revised its expectations, cutting its annual operating income to an increase of 8% to 11%, down from a projected gain of 11% to 15%. It affirmed its previous 2014 outlook for 10% to 12% revenue growth compared with 2013.

More details are on the J.B. Hunt website.