The fleet also posted record net income for 1999 of $104,240,000, an increase of 46% over '98 and revenue rose 21% to $2,222,442,000.
LTL revenue at the regional trucking subsidiaries rose 17.5% for the quarter with shipments increasing 12.7% and tonnage rising 14.1%. LTL revenue per shipment increased from $108.08 in the fourth quarter of last year to $112.64 for the current year's quarter, and the weight per shipment increased from 1,138.4 to 1,153.0 pounds. LTL revenue for the year ended December 31, 1999 increased 13.3% to $1,599,876,000 from $1,412,651,000 for the same period of last year.
Operating income for regional trucking subsidiaries USF Holland, USF Red Star and
USF Reddaway rose 49% for the quarter and the operating ratio for the LTL group improved to 88.8 from 91.1 last year. Operating income for the year increased by 35.1%.
The other business units - logistics, freight forwarding and truckload - contributed operating income of $8,224,000 in the 1999 quarter compared to $5,140,000 for last year's fourth quarter, an increase of 60.0%. Revenue for the non-regional business units increased 46.3% to $138,681,000 in the current quarter compared to $94,799,000 last year. These business units represent 14.0% of consolidated operating income before head office expense compared to 13.2% for the same period last year.
Cam Carruth, chairman and CEO credited the strong performance to a continuing strong U.S. economy, a stable pricing environment, strategic acquisitions, the ability to increase market share in the various business units, and emphasis on cost reduction in all business units.
"Both USF Holland and USF Red Star benefited from the demise of Preston, and USF
Reddaway to a lesser degree on the closure of Nationsway," Carruth said.