Marten Transport on Monday, Oct. 20, announced its financial and operating results for the third quarter and nine-month period ended Sept. 30:
“In the third quarter, we were able to demonstrate the strength of our business model and our team’s ability to execute in a difficult freight environment,” said Randolph L. Marten, chairman and chief executive officer of Mondovi, Wis.-based Marten Transport. “Our major investments in developing regional operations to help optimize our customers’ supply chains, growing intermodal capacity to gain efficiency, using our logistics operation to cover additional freight while satisfying customers’ needs, and installing auxiliary power units to save fuel and reduce emissions all paid off. We picked up a boost from diesel fuel prices that decreased during the quarter, but even without that benefit, our results would have improved compared with the third quarter of 2007 or with the second quarter of 2008.”
Marten said the company continued its strategy of constraining the size of its asset-based truckload fleet and growing its asset-light logistics and intermodal operations in the quarter. “Within our truckload operations, our employees efficiently adapted to the market conditions and focused on providing superior customer service to ensure our fleet was kept loaded with the most profitable freight available to us,” he said.
Marten said he expected fourth-quarter freight demand to continue to decline as compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. “The start of October has been relatively soft and, due to economic conditions, we do not expect our customers in the consumer retail business to build or refresh their inventories to historical fourth-quarter levels,” he said. “Furthermore, we believe that the recent improvements in fuel prices have negatively impacted the capacity situation, as some weak carriers avoided failing or were encouraged to bring on capacity that had been idled. With those expectations in mind, our strategy is to continue to protect our truckload rate structure by providing superior customer service; to appropriately size our fleet to existing demand; to expand our logistics, intermodal and regional operations; and to aggressively control our costs and explore new business opportunities.”