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Hub Group Inc. reported record fourth-quarter revenue and net income as the company benefited from high pricing caused by constraints across the supply chain.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based intermodal and logistics service provider’s fourth-quarter net income rose 276.3% to $84.3 million from $22.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share increased to $2.48 from 67 cents. Operating income rose 276.9% to $117.6 million from $31.2 million.
Revenue jumped 31.8% to $1.26 billion from $952.7 million in the same period a year earlier.
Exceptionally strong freight demand drove the results, CEO Dave Yeager said in a Feb. 8 conference call with analysts and investors.
He said the environment is favorable for Hub’s business model with strong economic growth, a
declining unemployment rate and strength in imports.
“Our customers continue to tell us that their shelves need to be restocked. On the supply side, the outlook for truckload capacity continues to be constrained due to a shortage of drivers, the backlog of imports, issues with truck production, rising insurance expenses and driver regulatory change,” Yeager said.
The company believes the import logjam will continue for much of the year with only modest easing before holiday freight demand picks up again.
He said these factors would allow Hub to raise prices higher than inflation.
Most of Hub’s business segments posted fourth-quarter gains:
• Intermodal revenue increased 25% to $702 million. Much of the gain came from a 37% increase in revenue per load.
The company said its intermodal gross margin increased compared with the prior year because strong pricing more than offset lower volume and Hub’s need to contract for more transportation.
• Logistics revenue increased 13% to $224 million from growth in its final-mile and consolidation services.
• Truck brokerage revenue grew 112% to $268 million. The gain primarily was a result of its $130 million acquisition of Choptank Transport Inc., a non-asset refrigerated transportation solutions provider.
“We’ve actually seen three record months from the Choptank organization right out of the gate, which is phenomenal,” said Phillip Yeager, Hub’s president and chief operating officer.
Contractual freight represented 49% of total brokerage volume in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with 57% in 2020, the company said.
• Dedicated trucking revenue decreased 8% to $62 million due to declines from existing customers and the impact of giving up some business. That partially was offset by revenue from new customers.
The company continues to look for more acquisitions, Phillip Yeager said.
Host Seth Clevenger speaks with Neil Shelton of GXO and Cathy Roberson of the Reverse Logistics Association about the supply chain. Hear a snippet above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.
Specifically, it seeks non-asset-based logistics providers.
“We have a great footprint in the final-mile space, really around the big and bulky items, but what we don’t really have today is the ability to do appliance delivery and installation. That would be an area of interest to us,” he said.
The company also sees an opportunity in e-commerce fulfillment.
For the full year, Hub reported net income of $171.5 million, a 133% gain from the $73.6 million of the prior year. Diluted earnings per share rose to $5.06 from $2.19. Revenue rose 20% to $4.2 billion from $3.5 billion.
The company also provided financial guidance for this year.
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It expects 2022 diluted earnings per share will range from $5.90 to $6.30, and that revenue will range from $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion.
Hub plans 2022 capital expenditures of $240 million to $270 million. It plans to order 6,550 containers, including 550 refrigerated containers. That will create net growth of approximately 6,000 after it retires containers that have reached the end of their useful life. Hub expects delivery of more than 750 tractors this year. Some of them will be tractors delayed from its 2021 order. The new tractors will replace older trucks and support growth in Hub’s drayage and dedicated fleets.
The company also expects to spend about $40 million on IT investments and to finish expanding its headquarters complex.
Hub Group ranks No. 13 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.