Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

The time-definite surface transportation and related logistics services provider Forward Air Corp. has reported gains in third quarter profitability.

Net income during the period was $16.7 million compared to $14.2 million in the prior-year quarter or 54 cents per diluted share compared with 46 cents per diluted share.

Operating revenue for the quarter increased 18.5% from the same time last year to $201.5 million.

“We were pleased with our revenue and operating income performance across all of our business segments, especially in light of the challenging capacity environment and its impact on our cost structure,” said Bruce A. Campbell, chairman, president, and CEO.

The company said revenue for its Forward Air Inc. segment, which provides time definite airport-to-airport, expedited, intermodal and logistics services, continues to benefit from the acquisition of Central States Trucking Company, along with strong year-over-year growth in tonnage volumes and improving airport-to-airport pricing.

Total revenue for this operation, which makes up nearly 80% of the company, increased 24.3% to $160.1 million.

“These positive trends were partially offset by higher purchased transportation and recruiting costs resulting from our efforts to grow our fleet to keep pace with our increased shipping activity,” said Campbell. “CST contributed approximately $21.1 million of revenue and $2.5 million of operating income during the third quarter of 2014.”

He also said Forward Air Solutions, which provides pool distribution by consolidating and hauling several smaller less-than-truckload shipments to a common area or region, showed “significant improvement in operating income, driven primarily by the general rate increases initiated in the first quarter and excellent operating discipline.”

This segment, which made up for 15% of the company’s business, saw revenue increase 2.6% to $30.6 million.

The company’s Total Quality Inc. unit, which provides specialized temperature controlled and monitoring services to the pharmaceutical industry, and accounts for about 6% of Forward Air’s business, saw revenue drop 3.2% to $12 million.

Forward Air also issued fourth quarter guidance, expecting revenue will increase 18% to 22% over the same time last year with income per diluted share to be between 60 cents and 66 per cents. This compares to 50 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2013.

There is more information on the Forward Air website.