Heartland Express Inc. said its third-quarter profit grew 27.6% to $15.9 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $12.4 million, or 15 cents, a year ago.
Operating revenue fell 3.3% in the quarter to $130.6 million, Heartland said in an Oct. 16 statement. The truckload carrier said rate increases were offset by the new federal hours-of-service rule for truck drivers, a competitive employment environment for drivers, inconsistent freight and lower fuel surcharge revenue.
Heartland saw an operating ratio of 80.1 in the third quarter, it said. Fuel costs fell 7.5%, largely because of newer trucks, lower fleet utilization and lower fuel prices.
Heartland is ranked No. 47 on the Transport Topics Top 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.