Heartland Express Net Income Rises 38%

Heartland Express Inc.

Heartland Express Inc., in North Liberty, Iowa, reported second-quarter net income rose 38% to $26.5 million, or 30 cents per share, from $19.1 million, or 23 cents, reflecting the effects of its late 2013 acquisition of Gordon Trucking.

Heartland, which ranks No. 33 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, said revenue rose 69% to $226.8 million.

Like other recent reports from carriers, Heartland emphasized driver-related issues.

“The trucking industry continues to be challenged with reductions in the availability of qualified drivers at a time when the industry continues to be challenged by various regulations that increasingly reduce drivers’ availability,” Heartland’s statement said. “The company will continue to look at all of our alternatives to enhance our drivers’ utilization as well as compensation of our drivers.”

The operating ratio improved to 82.1 in the second quarter from 90.8 in the first quarter, when weather problems drove up expenses.

The statement also said Heartland expects to further reduce costs this quarter when its information technology systems are integrated with Gordon’s.

Heartland said it has taken delivery of 511 new tractors and expects to receive 800 more this year.