Landstar System reported its best first quarter with revenue jumping 34.2% to $1.05 billion and profits reaching a record $57.5 million, or $1.37 a share, as demand for freight hauling continued to strain truck capacity in the market.
The bullish outlook led the board of directors to boost the quarterly dividend from 10 to 15 cents a share to shareholders of record May 10.
“I am extremely pleased with the execution of the Landstar model during the 2018 first quarter,” said Landstar CEO Jim Gattoni in a statement April 25. “The number of loads hauled via truck increased 12% over the 2017 first quarter, driven by a 13% increase in the number of loads hauled via van equipment, an 8% increase in the number of loads hauled via unsided/platform equipment and a 12% increase in less-than-truckload volume.”
In addition, the number of loads hauled via rail, ocean and airfreight carriers was up 20% in the most recent quarter.
Pricing was also better as revenue per load increased 24% for van shipments and 17% for flatbed loads, Gattoni said.
Landstar also set a record for the number of trucks provided by independent owner operators, or what the company calls business capacity owners, with a total of 9,868 at the end of the first quarter.
In the first quarter of 2017, Landstar earned $32.4 million, or 77 cents a share, on revenue of $780.9 million and reported having 9,370 BCOs available to haul freight.
Gattoni said he expects growth to continue, with truck loads increasing between 10% and 12% in the second quarter and revenue per load gains to be in the range of 19% to 22%.
Revenue in the second quarter is projected to be in the range of $1.12 billion to $1.17 billion.
Landstar, based in Jacksonville, Fla., ranks No. 9 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America.