The Trucker Chronicles


A KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst said Tuesday the truckload industry is recovering faster than expected, with rates increasing and more full trucks crisscrossing highways.

Truckload carriers generally dedicate an entire trailer to one customer and move the freight directly from the shipper to the receiver. Less-than-truckload carriers fill their trucks with freight from a variety of sources and might re-sort and redistribute it at a company terminal along their route.

Analyst Todd Fowler upgraded shares of truckload carrier Werner Enterprises Inc. to “Buy” from “Hold” and raised his estimates for this year, citing his renewed optimism about the sector.

He also raised earnings estimated for other truckload carriers Knight Transportation Inc. and Celadon Group Inc.

Rates are recovering “stronger and sooner” than anticipated, he said. That’s helping truckers make more money per mile. Also adding to benefits is reduced industry capacity. Having fewer trucks on the road is increasing demand for the remaining ones.

Fowler said truckload companies are also reporting better shipping volume across the board.

For Werner, Fowler believes that Werner will additionally benefit from better margins, safety improvements and favorable cash flow.

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