JB Hunt shows what is happening in the marketplace

Revenue per load up 7.5 % and average length of haul down 1%
Intermodal was 68% of the profit in JB Hunt
Brokerage (ICS):  
Gross margins holding at ~14.4%, loads up 5% with the carrier base up 15%…up to 44 branches and still investing in geographic expansion and systems.  Revenue up 41% with profits up 99%
Truckload (JBT):  
JBT is reducing its footprint – tractors down 11%, loads down 15% but revenue/tractor per week is way up
Somehow they managed to reduce their operating income – while revenue /truck is up 5% and loads are up 15% – because truck numbers are up 1329.  Most of these were conversions of private fleets 55% and home delivery 32% that they call “final mile services (FMS)”.  Operating income decreased 9% from a year ago caused by:
  • winter weather inefficiencies
  • higher insurance and claims costs
  • increased driver wages and recruiting costs; higher non driver
  • increased maintenance costs 
  • $1.9 million in additional non-cash amortization – i.e. not real (maybe absorbing good will from an acquisition)
What you don’t see when looking at the segments, is that Revenue JUST increased slightly more ($319 MM) than expenses (300MM) – not good news for shareholders.
What you should take from all this data is confirmation of what you know already:
  • Prices are up
  • Brokers are making a killing
  • It is hard to get drivers even with higher wages