Werner and Heartland, two major truckload carriers, reported second quarter earnings that showed increased profit and revenue compared to the same time a year ago.

Werner Enterprises Inc. net income totaled $38.3 million, or 53 cents per share, up from $23.2 million, or 32 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2017.

Total revenue moved higher to $619.1 million from $519.5 million as operating income improved to $50.8 million from $36.9 million.

According to the Nebraska-based company, second quarter 2018 freight demand in its truckload feet was much stronger than normal.

“Demand was consistently strong each month of second quarter 2018 and was broad-based geographically. Freight volumes thus far in July 2018 continue to be strong,” Werner said in a statement.

It also reported average revenues per tractor per week increased 9.5% in second quarter 2018 compared to second quarter 2017 due to a 13.3% increase in average revenues per total mile, partially offset by a 3.3% decrease in average miles per truck.

“The increase in average revenues per total mile was due primarily to higher contractual rates, more freight choices with higher rates, support for customer surge business, lane mix changes and growth in our dedicated business,” Werner said.

Werner said it ended the second quarter with 7,700 trucks in its truckload segment, a year-over-year increase of 385 trucks, due primarily to new dedicated fleets that have been added. The dedicated unit ended second quarter 2018 with 4,380 trucks, or 57% of its total truckload segment fleet, compared to 3,815 trucks at the end of second quarter 2017.

Heartland Second Quarter Income Nears $18 Million

Heartland Express Inc. also announced earnings also increased in the second quarter. Net income totaled $17.8 million, compared to $14.6 million in the second quarter of 2017, as earnings per share moved higher to 22 cents from 18 cents for the Iowa-based fleet.

Revenue in the most recent quarter was $155.8 million, compared to $129.6 million a year earlier, a 20.2% increase. Operating revenues for the quarter included fuel surcharge revenues of $22.4 million compared to $14.7 million in the same period of 2017.

Operating income moved just slightly higher to $22.1 million from $21.3 million.

For the six-month period ended June 30, the company recorded net income of $31.2 million, compared to $28.7 million in the same period of 2017.

Heartland Express CEO Michael Gerdin said both the quarterly and six-month numbers are the company’s strongest operating results since it acquired Interstate Distributor Co. approximately a year ago.

"We delivered our lowest quarterly operating ratio (85.8%) showing continued improvement over the last three quarters following the acquisition along with increased earnings,” he said.