Friday, July 24, 2009

Freight volume: Tough times may be receding

Though the slump in freight volume is expected to continue for the rest of the year, many transportation providers believe the toughest stretch may now be in the rearview mirror. And if the downturn removes weaker competitors from the playing field, some companies believe that may open up opportunities for growth and market share gains.

"I do not foresee a significant change in the current freight environment as we move through the third quarter. However, there has been a slight improvement in volume trends,” said Henry Gerkens, president & CEO of Landstar System in the carrier’s second quarter earnings report.

“In addition, some of the very difficult revenue comparisons experienced during the first half of 2009 begin to ease toward the end of the 2009 third quarter and into the 2009 fourth quarter,” he noted. “I believe the worst is over.”

That being said, however, Gerkens stressed that there continues to be some level of uncertainty in the marketplace. He noted Landstar’s revenue continued to be negatively impacted by the severe recession in the domestic and global economies during the second quarter, with earnings shrinking to $17.9 million on revenues of $491.2 million, compared to $29.8 million in earnings on revenues of $697.7 million in the same period last year.

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