Covenant Changes Names, Titles

Truckload carrier Covenant Transportation is changing the name of its holding company and reshuffling its executive suite as part of a multi-year realignment effort.

The Chattanooga, TN-based carrier said its stockholders have approved changing the name of its parent corporation to Covenant Transportation Group Inc., to better act as an “umbrella” of sorts for its primary truckload operation, Covenant Transport, plus Southern Refrigerated Transport of Texarkana, AR, Star Transportation of Nashville, TN, acquired in September last year.

Along with the name change, Joey Hogan is being promoted to senior executive vp & COO of Covenant Transportation Group as well as president of Covenant Transport. David Hughes assumes the role of senior vp-fleet management and procurement and corporate treasurer, while Covenant’s controller, Richard Cribbs, becomes vp & chief accounting officer. Currently the carrier does not expect to appoint a CFO, noted David Parker, Covenant’s chairman, president & CEO.

Parker added that Mike Miller, Covenant’s executive vp-procurement and corporate operations manager, is leaving the company for personal reasons.

All of these efforts are aimed at returning Covenant to profitability, Parker said. The carrier lost $2.1 million in the first quarter this year versus an $886,000 loss in the same period last year, even though freight revenue was up 10.9% to $143.5 million compared to the first quarter in 2006.

“In January we had announced a primary goal for the full year of 2007 of improving our operating ratio by 100 to 200 basis points versus 2006, [but] due to slower than anticipated freight volumes … our goal for 2007 may be difficult to achieve, although we have not formally changed that goal,” he said. “We intend to continue to evaluate the allocation of our assets across service offerings and to aggressively reduce costs where possible to improve margins.”

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