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February 9, 2007 10:15 AM, EST

Lack of Holiday Shipping Surge Depresses 4Q Truckload Profits

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Profits fell at major public truckload carriers in the fourth quarter, as declining demand for freight carriage more than eliminated the benefit of declining diesel prices, which are now lower than a year earlier.The carriers consistently reported the traditional fourth-quarter shipping surge was nowhere to be found in 2006 and that the spot-market price for last-minute hauling has fallen. Six of the first 10 truckload carriers to report annual results either maintained or increased net income when compared with 2005. Two more had modest decreases in annual profits of 2.2%.For the full story, see the Feb. 5 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.