For the fourth quarter of 2018, J.B. Hunt posted net earnings of $88.7 million compared to $385.3 million in the same 2017 period. Total operating revenue stood at $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter compared to $2 billion in the same 2017 period.
Broken down by segment, during the fourth quarter of 2018 J.B. Hunt’s intermodal segment saw a 16 percent year-over-year increase in revenue per load that led to a 15 percent jump in segment revenue to $1.26 billion. Intermodal volumes declined 1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017, with Eastern network loads growing 5 percent and transcontinental loads falling 4 percent.
Meanwhile, the dedicated contract services (DCS) segment saw a 25 percent year-over-year increase in revenue to $596 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, which the company said was due to the addition of new customer accounts, improved asset utilization and a 70 percent increase in operating income. The DCS segment focuses on private fleet conversion and creation in replenishment, specialized equipment and final-mile delivery services. Earlier this month, J.B. Hunt announced it was growing its final-mile delivery business by acquiring Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery for $100 million, a specialist in big and bulky products such as furniture.
In the integrated capacity solutions (ICS) segment, revenues for the fourth quarter of 2018 increased 7 percent year-over-year to $345 million, primarily from a 14 percent surge in load growth. The ICS segment provides traditional freight brokerage and transportation logistics solutions to customers through relationships with third-party carriers and integration with J.B. Hunt’s owned equipment.
The company’s full-load, dry-van freight trucking segment (JBT) posted revenues of $118 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, up 21 percent year-over-year amid a 131 percent jump in operating income to $14.7 million. The segment’s revenue per load increased 10 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017, primarily due to an 18 percent increase in rates per loaded mile, offset by a 6 percent decrease in length of haul. Comparable contractual customer rates increased about 15 percent year-over-year. At the end of the period, JBT operated 2,112 tractors compared to 2,032 at the close of 2017.