Omaha, NE-based truckload carrier Werner Enterprises said revenues and profits stayed strong in the first quarter this year, due in part to growth in dedicated transportation services.
Werner reported operating revenues increased 18% to $455.3 million, with net income rising 28% to $19.9 million compared to the first quarter 2004. Revenue per total mile, excluding fuel surcharges, continued to steadily improve on a year-over-year basis with a 7.3% increase in first quarter 2005, it added.
"Historically, our freight demand in the first quarter is significantly weaker due to the seasonal decline from the peak retail season of the fourth quarter," said chairman & CEO Clarence Werner. "However, the decline from fourth quarter 2004 to first quarter 2005 was less significant due to the increasing stability of our freight base and the strength of our customer relationships."
In particular, he noted that Werner's dedicated fleet has grown to almost 40% of its total truck fleet, which helps produce more consistent results, and that its new Value Added Services (VAS) brokerage business generates additional freight opportunities, which tends to level out freight volumes from quarter to quarter and soften seasonal fluctuations.
"Compared to the abnormally strong freight and pricing market in first quarter 2004, demand for our services and pricing remained strong in first quarter 2005," said Werner. "For the first few weeks of April, freight demand is solid and is trending consistently with normal seasonal volumes."