Brokerage not passing all increases to small carriers? (JB Hunt reports)

JB Hunt (JBH) is a great barometer of the industry.  It confirms what we already know:
  • Brokerage – all the revenue increases are not being passed onto the underlying carriers.  This does not bode well for their health (JBH Gross profit margins increased to 12.0% in Q3 versus 7.6% in Q2)
  • Prices are way up (JBH: intermodal prices up 24% including fuel)
  • Congestion has driven intermodal volume down  (JBH: volume down 6% – and it is not just caused by the port issues in California – the Eastern network was down 2%)
  • Dedicated is seeing issues related to driver income (JBH revenue per truck up 3%, excluding fuel, but added driver etc. costs cut operating income 3% – so there is ~ a 6% swing)
One thing that continues to stand out – the ratio of trucks to trailers in the truckload business.   While tradition suggests a 3 to 1 ratio, JBH seems to favor a ~5 to 1 ratio. I am sure shippers love this!