Earnings during the third quarter for J.B. Hunt rose to $89.5 million from $78.2 million during the same period in 2012, as operating revenue topped $1.44 billion, an increase from $1.3 billion, year over year.
Intermodal experienced a load growth of 11.6 percent, which propelled a segment revenue increase of 12 percent. Revenue for dedicated contract services increased 17 percent, and integrated capacity solutions rose 17 percent. Revenue for the truck segment, which had seen a lower tractor utilization from a smaller fleet, decreased 17 percent.
Operating income rose from $133 million to $151 million.
“The increase in operating income from load growth, higher JBI box turns and freight mix was partially offset by increases in driver recruiting costs, higher rates paid to third party carriers for dray, brokerage and truckload services, higher driver mileage pay, higher equipment costs, and lower tractor utilization in JBT due to moderate customer demand and new hours of service regulations,” according to the company in a statement.
The carrier’s intermodal volume got a big boost from its Eastern network, which saw a 14 percent volume increase, and transcontinental volumes, which rose 10.2 percent. Operating income for the entire segment increased 21 percent on the strength of load growth, better box turns and steady demand.
Truck revenue for the third quarter fell due to an 18 percent fleet-size reduction and a 6 percent shorter length of haul. Spot business increased, but rates from consistent shippers fell 1.7 percent.