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August 8, 2019 10:15 AM, EDT

Patriot Transportation Revenue Down 6.4% in Its 3Q

A Patriot Transportation's Florida Rock & Tank Lines truck. A Patriot Transportation's Florida Rock & Tank Lines truck. (IFADAT1 via YouTube)

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Patriot Transportation reported net income of $396,000, or 12 cents per share, in its third quarter ended June 30, compared with $1,086,000, or 33 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Total revenue for the quarter was $27.5 million, down 6.4% from the same quarter last year, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company reported in a July 31 earnings release.

Patriot, which owns Florida Rock & Tank Lines, said transportation revenue dropped by $1.5 million, primarily due to the decrease of 865,000 miles over the same quarter last year. The company said Patriot has been averaging 30 fewer drivers than a year before, leading to decreased revenue.

Patriot officials said fuel expenses decreased $635,000 due to lower company miles and lower cost per gallon.

Repair and tire expense increased $84,000 due to several high-dollar repairs.

Insurance and losses decreased $403,000 primarily due to lower health and workers’ compensation claims.

During the month of May, Patriot closed its Charlotte terminal.

“Charlotte has been a very tough driver market as well as a low freight rate environment for the past several years,” said Matt McNulty, chief financial officer. “As a result, management determined it was in the company’s best financial interest to exit the market.”

McNulty said Patriot’s balance sheet remains solid with $20 million of cash and investments and zero debt. But the company is missing opportunities because it has too few drivers.

“Management believes the biggest challenge we face today is driver retention and we are keenly focused on continuing to develop our strategy around improving retention,” McNulty said. “There is plenty of business available in many of our markets that we believe we can add if we can grow the driver count in those markets.”

Florida Rock & Tank Lines ranks No. 13 on the Transport Topics list of the top for-hire carriers in the tank/bulk sector.