October 17, 2018 5:00 PM, EDT

Marten Transport Posts Record Results in Third Quarter

Marten TransportJohn Sommers II for Transport Topics

Marten Transport Ltd. reported its best quarterly operating results ever, among the first of what is expected to be a string of bullish financial reports from trucking companies in the third quarter.

Mondovi, Wis.-based Marten said profits nearly doubled compared with the same period a year ago, and revenue grew 17% to a record $199.6 million in the three months ended Sept. 30 as demand remained strong for temperature-controlled and dry freight-hauling services and customers paid surcharges to cover higher fuel costs.

“We are encouraged by our record operating income and revenue,” Chairman and CEO Randolph Marten said in a statement Oct. 16. “These results are a direct result of the continued disciplined execution of our unique multifaceted business model by our dedicated and experienced workforce while capitalizing on the strengthened freight environment.”

Marten specializes in hauling food and packaged goods that require refrigeration. The company also provides dedicated contract carriage, intermodal and freight brokerage, along with dry van truckload service in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Marten Transport

TT File Photo

The carrier is growing its dry-freight services and has 1,570 dry van trailers in its fleet as of Sept. 30, up from 966 at the end of 2017, according to company data. Tractor count increased to 2,751 in 2018 versus 2,649 in 2017, and total trailers rose to 5,397 from 4,915.

Marten said he expects the good times to continue.

“We expect to drive continued growth across all of our operating platforms,” he said, “with increasing compensation for our premium services, additional freight from existing and new customers, and our emphasis on operating efficiencies and cost controls.”

The company also announced a five-for-three stock split with shareholders receiving the additional shares July 7. The move increases the number of outstanding shares from 32.7 million to 54.5 million with the company maintaining its quarterly cash dividend of 2.5 cents a share, effectively increasing the cash payout to stockholders by about two-thirds.

Marten Transport ranks No. 48 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America.