Arkansas Best Corp. turned in a second quarter profit of $4.9 million, but still ended the first six months of 2013 with a net loss of $8.5 million.
Officials pointed to wages and benefits for drivers at ABF Freight System as a big reason for the loss, despite improving revenue and freight tonnage in the second quarter.
ABF workers recently ratified a contract with the carrier that included a number of concessions meant to drive down ABF’s costs, but the two sides are still negotiating supplemental agreements. On July 30, the carrier secured another 30-day extension for its National Freight agreement, hoping to come to terms on the six remaining items during that time frame. The workers’ concessions would not go into effect until the supplements are agreed upon.
Arkansas Best’s revenue in the second quarter rose by more the $65 million, year over year. For the second quarter, ABF’s revenue rose slightly, according to officials. Revenue per hundredweight in the second quarter stayed flat, year over year.
The freight division turned in a $17.1 million operating loss over the first six months, a fall of nearly $3 million compared to the same period in 2012.
"We achieved a major milestone for our company in recent weeks with the ratification of a national five-year labor contract at ABF and most supplemental agreements. We expect to obtain employee ratification of all remaining supplements in the coming weeks," Judy R. McReynolds, Arkansas Best’s president, said in a statement. "Once this important process is concluded, it will represent a pivotal moment for Arkansas Best, as we will be able to turn our undivided attention to driving improved profitability at ABF, while continuing the expansion and growth of our emerging businesses.” - Jon Ross