Brokers pulling in more revenue, loads than year ago

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Brokers continue to see more business and higher revenue, according to the latest data compiled by DAT.

The DAT Broker Benchmarking report for March showed brokers moved 21% more loads posted a 63% increase in total revenues for the month compared to March 2017. The 21% increase in loads set a two-year record for load volume, DAT said. Average revenue per load climbed 35% year-over-year.

DAT’s report pulls data from more than 100 DAT customers.

While loads, volume and revenue all showed strong gains, gross margins did not grow as much, rising 12.6% in March. That is above January and February’s total, but below March 2017’s 14.3%. DAT noted that margins continued to be squeezed for brokers due to “continued, robust levels of demand and tight capacity, which kept truckload rates high.”

Brokers were able to rein in some costs as both labor and non-labor expense declined as a percentage of net revenue, helping brokers post a rise in operating profit per employee. As a portion of net revenue, labor expenses dropped to 64% in March, their lowest point since October. Labor costs were still up 51% compared to March 2017. Non-labor operational costs rose 5% compared to March 2017, coming in under 20% of net revenue for the first time in two years, DAT said.

The profit per employee rose 28% year-over-year even as brokers saw a 38% increase in the number of employees. Revenue per employee increased 16% compared to March 2017.

For the first quarter, both load counts and revenue per load rose 30%, and net operating profit per load climbed from $4.34 per load in Q1 2017 to $16.10.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.