US Xpress Enterprises was rolled out from the first quarter of 2021 with operating income of $ 450.8 million versus $ 432.6 million in the first quarter of 2020 and operating income of $ 8 million versus a loss of $ 3.7 million in the first quarter of 2020.
“I am pleased with our team’s continued execution of our digital initiatives, which are designed to support our goal of doubling our revenues over the next four years,” said Eric Fuller, CEO of US Xpress, in sharing the results Thursday.
The company missed analysts’ forecasts for earnings per share by a dime, with earnings of 5 cents per share, compared to a loss of 19 cents per share in the first quarter of 2020.
Brokerage revenue reached $ 81.8 million, up 62% from the first quarter of 2020, with 67% of volumes traded on the company’s digital platform called Variant.
The Variant fleet includes load planning and scheduling performed by a suite of machine learning and artificially intelligent algorithms. The variant maximizes the miles charged per week, which helps improve both business profits and driver retention. Fuller said he expects the asset-based fleet recruited, sent and digitally managed to transform the industry.
Variant ended the quarter with 951 tractors, exceeding its goal of 900 and providing 11.8% of full truck revenue for the quarter. In the first quarter of 2020, Variant provided 2.3% of truck revenue.
US Xpress has a target of 1,500 Variant tractors generating about 25% of full truck revenue by the end of 2021, Fuller said.
“As we look forward to the rest of the year, we believe that all of our businesses firmly position the company to meet our goals of growing our digital business and realizing benefits of scale that will begin to drive significant expansion. margins at the end of the year. Fuller said.
The first quarter of 2021 started off smoothly, with better-than-normal fleet performance, but weather conditions hampered activities in February and March, Fuller added.
“The bad weather in February created a very difficult environment, which was one of the worst we have seen as many of our customers [over-the-road] and dedicated divisions have closed and the frequency of accidents has increased, “he said.” In fact, it wasn’t until the first week of March that our operations started to normalize as our customer volumes started to return to more seasonal levels. “
US Xpress expects freight demand to increase as the economy recovers, Fuller added.
“The company’s main markets have recovered from the weather disruptions that occurred through February and freight demand is performing better than normal seasonality during the first three weeks of April,” he said. “The company expects freight demand to remain strong through 2021 given the broader economic recovery and favorable winds it is experiencing due to the latest federal stimulus package having a noticeable impact . “
A shortage of experienced drivers is one of the biggest headwinds in the industry, he said.
– Compiled by Mary Fortune who can be contacted at [email protected]