Schneider 2008 revenue up and no losses
Schneider National on Thursday said its revenue grew 8.9 percent in 2008 as the transportation and logistics giant avoided the losses that have plagued much of the goods movement industry.
The company had revenue of $3.7 billion in 2008, up from $3.4 billion in 2007.
'Schneider achieved its earnings plan in 2008, continuing the company’s 74-year track record of positive financial results,' the company said in a statement. 'That said, the freight transportation market environment has been, and will continue to be, in a deep recession.'
No details of profits were released.
“The transportation and logistics industry faced tremendous challenges in 2008 — from unprecedented fuel price volatility to unusual weather dynamics to the continuing freight recession,” said John Brenholt, chief financial officer at Schneider. “There’s no doubt that these market conditions are some of the most difficult we’ve seen in decades. Carriers are exiting the industry due to the environment, and many competitors are reducing the size of their fleets and running fewer trucks. Schneider is responding to industry challenges in a different manner; we’re expanding our core services and making decisions to help control our destiny in what’s looking like a very difficult 2009.”
Schneider said it was able to pay down debt in 2008 and ended the year 'with one of the strongest balance sheets in company history.' But the company admitted that 'freight volumes and rates continue to be soft in the early weeks of 2009.'
To avoid job or service cuts, Schneider said it would suspend pay increases in 2009 and defer funding for retirement plans and 401(k) company matches until the end of the year. The moves affect all 21,000 employees, from management to drivers and distribution center workers.
“We will continue to monitor conditions and take the steps necessary to protect our financial position,” said Tim Fliss, the company's executive vice president of human resources. “We cannot predict what the economy will do, but we will control what we can and encourage all associates to contribute ideas to reduce cost, eliminate waste and improve productivity.'