Owner-operator revenue, income climbed in first quarter

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Updated Jun 28, 2018

Like their fleet counterparts, leased and independent owner-operators brought in higher revenue and better take-home pay in the first quarter of 2018, according to data from ATBS, the country’s largest owner-operator services firm.

The industry’s smallest carriers were able to capitalize on the tight trucking market and soaring rates seen in 2018’s first three months. Large publicly traded carriers also saw climbing revenues and profits in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Owner-operators‘ milage was mostly flat from both the first quarter of last year and the final quarter of 2017. Fuel expenditures increased, however, negating some of the revenue gains.

Flatbed owner-operators were the highest earners, taking home on average $17,328 in 2018’s first quarter. That’s a $2,100 gain from 2017’s first quarter, but a slight dip from 2017’s final three months.

Dry van operators earned$15,195 in the quarter in net income — a gain of $1,000 from 2017’s first quarter, but also slightly down from 2017’s fourth quarter.

Independent owner-operators took home $15,586 in the first quarter, also a gain of around $1,000 year over year.

Reefer haulers fared the worst in 2018’s first three months, taking home $12,671 in net income. That’s an increase of $1,100 from the same quarter a year ago, and flat compared to 2017’s fourth quarter.