Arkansas Best Corp. posted second quarter profits of $17.7 million, up 60% from $11.1 million reported second quarter 1999 and a company record.
Second quarter revenue was $472 million, a 12.7% increase over second quarter 1999.
ABF Freight System’s second quarter revenue was up 11.7% from last year. Its operating ratio was 90.5%, a two point improvement over second quarter 1999. LTL revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharges, was $20.70, an increase of 7.4% over last year. LTL tonnage per day was up 4.4%. ABF’s average LTL shipment weighed 1,001 pounds, compared to 994 pounds per shipment in 1999.
“ABF’s quarterly results represent a significant improvement over a very good 1999 second quarter,” said Arkansas Best President and CEO Robert Young III. “ABF is currently experiencing double digit revenue growth and has made further improvements on the rate of LTL tonnage growth seen earlier this year.”
This year’s second quarter represented the one-year anniversary of operational changes that reduced, by one-third, the a cycle time of shipments moving through ABF’s distribution centers. As a result the carrier offers standard second-morning service in over 12,000 lanes. Tonnage in its two-day transit time lanes increased 8.8% in second quarter while tonnage for ABF’s longer haul business increased 3%.
G.I. Trucking revenue for the second quarter was up 22.6%, to $42.8 million. Its operating ratio was 95.7%, down slightly from second quarter last year and a significant improvement over its 99.8% operating ratio the first quarter of this year. Total pounds per day increased 18.8% from second quarter 1999.
During second quarter G.I. “began to see the positive effects of costs incurred earlier in the year to significantly increase its sales personnel and to prepare for the addition of new, midwestern business from an existing carrier partner,” said Young.
Second quarter revenues for the Clipper division were $34.1 million, up 27.3% from a year earlier. Its second quarter operating ratio was 97.6% compared to 98.1% in 1999. Young said the improvement was the result of increased revenues to cover fixed costs and a consistent emphasis on account profitability and improve utilization of equipment. For instance, Clipper’s temperature-controlled division has focused on adding new business to fill equipment in westbound lanes that are historically empty. In addition to added revenue, the new freight has enabled Clipper to more efficiently reposition trailer for produce loads traditionally moving in eastbound shipping lanes, Young noted.
Arkansas Best’s Treadco division had second quarter revenues of $48.3 million, up 2.4% from last year. New tire sales were up 4.2% and truck tire service revenues increased 15.5%.