October 27, 2017 1:15 PM, EDT

Saia Overcomes Hurricanes Harvey, Irma to Post 4.2% Profit in 3Q

Saia truck David B./Flickr

Saia Inc. announced that earnings grew 4.2% year-over-year in the third quarter with improvements in all the vital metrics, including tonnage, shipments and revenue per 100 pounds of freight.

The Johns Creek, Ga.-based carrier recorded $14.4 million in profits or 55 cents per share, essentially on target with the Bloomberg News consensus forecast of $14.6 million or 55 cents.

One year ago, the numbers were $13.8 million or 54 cents.

Revenue also trended positive in the quarter, rising 11% to $350 million.

Saia CEO Rick O’Dell noted that the results were particularly impressive because the hurricanes in Texas and Floria forced the company to cease operations in the damaged markets for several days.

Less-than-truckload tonnage increased 2% to 931,000, shipments improved 1.5% to 1.7 million, pounds per shipment ticked up 0.5% to 1,120 and revenue per 100 pounds of freight jumped 8% to $17.36. LTL shipments and LTL tonnage per workday rose 3.1% and 3.6%, respectively.

“We estimate that third-quarter shipments and tonnage per workday growth would have been approximately 1% higher had the storms not occurred,” O’Dell said. “Saia also experienced higher than normal operating costs for routing freight around weather impacted areas. … The impact of the storms notwithstanding, we continue to see strong demand and stable pricing in our business.”

Over the past several months, Saia cut the ribbon to open a larger terminal outside of St. Louis and opened a location in Laurel, Md., about halfway between Baltimore and Washington D.C., which will allow the carrier to serve the Mid-Atlantic region. In December, Saia plans to operate in Allentown, Pa.

Saia ranks No. 28 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.