Less than truckload (LTL) carrier Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., a bellwether company for the freight trucking sector, today reported sinking revenue for the month of May due to the economic downturn and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thomasville, North Carolina-based Old Dominion said its revenue per day decreased 16.2% as compared to May 2019 due to a 12.1% decrease in LTL tons per day and a decrease in LTL revenue per hundredweight.
The results are significant because Old Dominion is the nation’s third-largest LTL carrier by revenue, trailing only FedEx Freight and YRC Worldwide. The company said its recent change in LTL tons per day was attributable to a 16.7% decrease in LTL shipments per day that was partially offset by a 5.4% increase in LTL weight per shipment. For the quarter-to-date period, LTL revenue per hundredweight and LTL revenue per hundredweight excluding fuel surcharges decreased 4.7% and 1.4%, respectively, as compared to the same period last year.
“Old Dominion’s revenue results for May reflect the significant decline in the domestic economy as well as a decrease in fuel surcharge revenue,” Greg C. Gantt, president and CEO of Old Dominion, said in a release. “While economic uncertainty continues, we are encouraged by the gradual improvement in our daily revenue trend throughout the month of May. In addition, the combination of operating efficiencies and reduction in discretionary spending has allowed us to balance our variable operating costs with the change in business levels.”
The earnings report follows a May 11 report from YRC revealing that its first quarter numbers had followed a similar trend line to Old Dominion’s. YRC’s LTL revenue per hundredweight including fuel surcharge decreased 4.2%, although weight per shipment increased 3.9% for the quarter, resulting in a LTL revenue per shipment decrease of just 0.4% when compared to the same period in 2019. Excluding fuel surcharge, LTL revenue per hundredweight was down 4.0% and LTL revenue per shipment was essentially flat.