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Schneider profits drop 20% in Q1

Trucking carrier Schneider National expects improving market conditions in the second half of 2017 driven by an improved freight market and electronic logging device mandate.

   Schneider National, Inc. reported a profit of $22.6 million in the first quarter that ended March 31, 19.8 percent less than the $28.1 million it earned in the same 2016 period, according to the company’s most recent financial statements.
   Revenues grew 8.4 percent to over $1 billion compared with the first quarter of 2016 thanks primarily to Schneider’s acquisition of Watkins & Shepard and Lodeso, growth in its brokerage division and higher fuel surcharge revenues.
   The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based trucking carrier, which offers truckload, intermodal and logistics services, made an initial public stock offering in April.
   “We are pleased with our first quarter performance and believe that the advantages provided by our Quest technology platform and our cultural transformation focused on managing to operating contribution margin has allowed us to navigate the soft market thus far in 2017,” said Chris Lofgren, chief executive officer.
   “Our focus on positioning our associates to service our customers, while executing in a highly responsive manner to ‘micro markets’ has allowed us to make informed, intelligent decisions, in a resilient manner, and to address industry headwinds,” he added. “Nowhere was this more evident than within our Intermodal segment, which despite the difficult operating conditions, reported strong volume growth and relatively stable earnings compared to the first quarter of last year.”
   In its intermodal business, Schneider said it expects to have completed its conversion to an owned chassis model, which requires the replacement of rented units with over 10,000 owned chassis, by the end of 2017.
   Lofgren said the company anticipates the “market pressures of first quarter 2017 to carry into the second quarter. However, we expect improving market conditions in the second half of 2017 driven both by an improving freight market, as well as concerns surrounding the impending ELD mandate. Our breadth of service offerings positions us well to succeed as the market tightens.”
   The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requiring trucking companies to use ELDs or electronic logging devices no later than Dec. 18, 2017 in an effort to improve safety. According to the administration, “An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service recording.”
   Technology provider Alert Gps earlier this month launched a new ELD mandate compliance solution that automatically records hours of service (HOS) information, and is registered and certified with the FMCSA.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Schneider (No. 7).

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.