Universal Logistics Holdings Inc. reported its best quarter ever, marking its eighth consecutive reporting period in which a revenue record was set.
The Warren, Mich.-based company, a leading asset-light provider of customized transportation and logistics solutions, reported Feb. 22 that fourth-quarter net income was $9 million, or $0.32 per share, on record-high operating revenue of $386.4 million.
The news for the year also was good, Universal reported, with net income for 2018 at $52.2 million, or $1.84 per share, on total operating revenue of $1.46 billion. Both operating revenue and earnings per share for the full year were the highest in Universal’s history. The annual numbers compare to net income of $28.2 million, or $0.99 per share, and $1.22 billion of total operating revenue in 2017.
Operating revenue from truckload services in the fourth quarter increased $1.9 million, or 2.6%, to $73.8 million, compared with $71.9 million for the same period last year, Universal reported. Universal’s average revenue per mile, excluding fuel charges, increased 15.4% during the period, while the number of loads hauled decreased 11.3% during the same period.
During the fourth quarter of 2018, Universal moved 66,821 loads, compared with 75,309 loads during the same period last year.
Revenue from brokerage services in fourth-quarter 2018 increased $15.9 million, or 19.3%, to $98.1 million, compared with $82.2 million one year earlier. The growth primarily is due to an increase in the number of brokerage loads moved, Universal officials said. During the fourth quarter of 2018, Universal brokered 53,467 loads, compared with 45,896 loads during the same period last year.
“2018 proved to be a very exciting year for Universal,” said Jeff Rogers, Universal’s CEO, in a statement. “We reported double-digit revenue growth in each quarter of 2018. ... During the year, Universal also completed the acquisition of four best-in-class intermodal service providers, further expanding our strategic footprint into some of the largest intermodal markets in the United States.”
As of Dec. 31, 2018, Universal held cash and cash equivalents totaling $5.7 million, and $9.3 million in marketable securities. Outstanding debt at the end of fourth quarter 2018 was $403.2 million and capital expenditures totaled $9.4 million during the period, the company reported.
Universal provides a range of transportation and logistics services, including dry van and flatbed truckload, intermodal and freight brokerage, plus dedicated contract carriage and warehousing and distribution.
Universal Logistics Holdings Inc. ranks No. 27 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.