Less-than-truckload carrier YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW) reported Monday that shipments were flat year-over-year through the first two months of the fourth quarter, with revenue per shipment up slightly at 0.3%.
The Overland Park, Kansas-based company showed improving trends in the quarter, albeit at a slower pace than competitors. Tonnage increased 1.9% year-over-year in October, up 2.2% in November.
Last week, Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) noted tonnage increases of 2.2% year-over-year in October and 5.2% in November. Saia’s (NASDAQ: SAIA) results were seen as even stronger by some analysts, with the carrier reporting tonnage increases of 5.7% and 7.3%, respectively, over the same two months. Analysts believe Saia has been successful increasing tonnage while implementing price increases at the same time.
YRC’s revenue per hundredweight, or yield, fell 3.5% year-over-year in October but improved 0.6% in November. Declines in fuel surcharge revenue continued to be an overhang.
By comparison, yield for Old Dominion was 0.5% higher year-over-year through the first two months of the quarter and up 3.8% excluding fuel surcharges.
A rising tide may lift all boats, however, as the industrial segment appears to be looking up. The Purchasing Managers’ Index remained in expansion territory for the sixth consecutive month in November at 57.5%, and industrial production increased 1.1% during October. Manufacturing activity can represent more than 80% of total tonnage for some LTL carriers.
On Thursday, the congressional committee tasked with overseeing the distribution of federal loans made to businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic plans to hold a hearing over “serious concerns” with the national security loan program and the $700 million relief loan made to YRC. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to testify.