Werner Enterprises sees better days ahead

The truckload industry’s downturn is “closer to the end than the beginning,” Derek Leathers, Werner Enterprises’ chairman and CEO, told investors Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Industrials Conference in Chicago. He’s encouraged that spot rates held the uptick from May’s International Roadcheck, when some operators parked equipment to avoid safety checks by law enforcement, but said the market still hasn’t reached an inflection point.

The company continues to see rate pressure in the current bid...


Transports-only hedge fund manager hopeful despite ‘perfect negative storm’

Institutional investor Seth Holm said he’s upbeat on transportation stocks long term but noted the sector is in a “perfect negative storm,” with volumes under pressure, a collapse in pricing and roughly 50% inflation across most cost buckets. His comments were part of a fireside chat with Craig Fuller, FreightWaves founder and CEO, at Future of Supply Chain in Atlanta on Wednesday.

“I’m very, very positive … I think if you invest in anything in surface transportation, you’re going to make a lot...


3PL FLS Transportation acquires flatbed specialist ATL

Third-party logistics provider FLS Transportation announced Tuesday it has acquired broker Anderson Transportation and Logistics (ATL).

Anderson, South Carolina-based ATL was founded in 2005 and provides flatbed, dry van truckload, less-than-truckload, container drayage and hot shot transportation and logistics services. The company’s website shows a flatbed carrier network of more than 3,500 along with access to over 5,000 dry van TL carriers.

The deal expands FLS’ scale in TL brokerage and...


May sentiment survey sees higher transportation rates but capacity up again

Sentiment on transportation pricing among supply chain executives flipped from contraction to expansion in May, a monthly survey showed on Tuesday. While the pricing data set inflected positively during the month, the capacity subindex stubbornly remained in growth mode as well.

The Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI), a compilation of eight key components of the supply chain, increased 2.7 percentage points from April to a reading of 55.6 in May. The LMI is a diffusion index in which a reading...


Truckload carriers hopeful but not calling cycle turn yet

Following dismal first-quarter results, heads of two of the nation’s largest truckload fleets provided constructive market commentary at a Wednesday investor conference. That said, the long slog back to market equilibrium continues as the industry slowly purges the excess capacity added during the freight boom.

“By no means am I here saying I think we’re at a turning point or an inflection point, but I do believe, just like it took a long time to get this low and we stayed this low for this...


Transportation metrics weak in April but improve throughout month

Transportation metrics weakened in April, results from a monthly supply chain sentiment survey showed Tuesday. Following three straight months of expansion, freight rates slipped back into contraction territory, the report highlighted.

The transportation prices subindex (44.1 reading) fell 8.9 percentage points from March, with declining fuel prices presenting a modest drag on the data set. Transportation capacity (61.4) was up 1.8 points, remaining in “a robust rate of growth,” while...


Schneider National cuts 2024 outlook, notes some positive trends

Schneider National slightly missed first-quarter expectations and cut its full-year earnings outlook by nearly 25%. It noted some improving trends on a Thursday call with analysts but concluded it’s “not calling an inflection in the market.”

The most surprising takeaway from the call was the disclosure that truckload contract price renewals were positive for the first time in six quarters. For contracts renewing in the period, pricing increased by a low-single-digit percentage.

The company said...


Werner Enterprises says end of downcycle getting closer

Werner Enterprises said Tuesday the end of the downcycle appears to be getting closer. With a first quarter marked by inclement weather and higher insurance expenses in the rearview, it expects normal seasonal trends to take hold the rest of the year.

Werner (NASDAQ: WERN) reported first-quarter net income of $6.3 million compared to $35.2 million in the same period of 2023. When adjusted for items expected to not recur or items considered not part of normal operating activities...


Pam sets Dutch auction to buy back shares; battered stock price soars

Pam Transportation, the auto industry-focused truckload carrier whose stock has been battered in the past year and beyond, is buying back some of its shares through a process known as a Dutch auction. 

Companies buy back their stock frequently but generally do so in a lower-key manner, entering the market as an occasional or frequent buyer operating through the normal processes of the equity markets. Companies often declare their intention to buy back stock over a certain period, but the...


Landstar still waiting for break in freight recession

Broker Landstar System said it’s readying for an inflection, noting largely normal seasonal trends on its first-quarter call. The fact that it isn’t in cost-cutting mode like the asset-based operators is a bit of a reprieve from the carnage this earnings season has delivered. 

The company beat expectations for the first quarter, but its second-quarter guidance was light of consensus.

Landstar (NASDAQ: LSTR) reported earnings per share of $1.32 for the 2024 first quarter, which was 4 cents ahead...


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