|By John Lovett, Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Diversification came with the company's Strategic Capacity Solutions brokerage business contributing a base revenue of
Industry insiders like
"They're still operating at a 2.1 percent loss in the trucking segment," said
Driver retention is improving though and "recruiting efforts are going well," Simone said during a conference call after the report was released.
With this being
"We posted our first quarter of positive net income in three years," Simone stated in a news release. "While continuing the work of implementing our turnaround plan, the progress we are making is evident in virtually every area of our business."
Despite a harsh winter, Simone said,
"This performance was made possible by crisp execution within this highly efficient service against the backdrop of a market characterized by strengthening demand and tight capacity," Simone stated. "Our SCS segment accounted for over one-third of our consolidated base revenue during the quarter, substantially strengthening and diversifying our integrated business model."
With fuel surcharge collections increasing 7.4 percent, the company increased revenue per total mile by 5.7 percent and grew its "miles-per-seated-tractor-per-week" number by 1.3 percent, their highest level in more than three years.
Elevated medical benefit plan costs, the report states, added pressure during the quarter, but
"The availability of qualified drivers continues to be problematic across the truckload industry," the report states.
"Although the shortage of drivers and more restrictive hours-of-service rules continue to present challenges for our industry, the demand and pricing environment in the truckload marketplace is healthy and we believe our 2014 goals of positive consolidated operating income and adjusted EPS are achievable," Simone concluded.