JB Hunt, one of the largest trucking companies in the world reported earnings this evening and had some interesting (and mildly bullish) commentary on the general state of the economy:
“We continue to distance ourselves from the ‘Great Recession’ by increased revenues, operating income, net earnings and EPS of 18%, 29%, 31% and 32%, respectively, over last year’s third quarter. Though freight volumes backed off from the torrid pace we saw in June, demand remained steady across all segments.
In Intermodal, we continued to see record numbers of loads and double digit increases compared to prior periods despite the fact that, unlike most of the intermodal industry, we were growing last year, making the comparables more difficult for us. September 30th was an all-time high in load count for a single day in Intermodal and we expect to surpass one million loads for the first time later this year. The ability to continue to grow our Intermodal business is a testament to the differentiated service and value we and our rail partners bring to the shipping public. Load volume in our DCS segment, which we believe is a strong indicator of current customer demand and the general direction of the freight economy, continues to point toward steady business activity. Contract pricing, reflecting improvement in supply and demand balance, in both Intermodal and Truck, rose sequentially from this year’s second quarter and from the same period a year ago.
Assuming demand remains near current levels, we expect to see freight rates continue to rebound from the unsustainable lows we saw during the recession.”