Here are some snippets from Business Wire reports of 1st quarter,2008 activity on Hunt and Werner. Swift and Gainey are privately owned companies, so information on what they are doing isn't available to the public.
JBT revenue declined 14%, primarily due to a 16% reduction in loads, compared to first quarter 2007. Current quarter revenue declined 20%, excluding fuel surcharges. We have continued to right-size our random tractor fleet, which has resulted in a 22% reduction of our fleet size, compared to the tractor counts at the end of the first quarter 2007. In total, we have reduced our fleet by 1,149 tractors compared to the end of the first quarter a year ago. During the current quarter we made progress selling the JBT segment revenue equipment that was held for sale at December 31, 2007. The continued reduction in the number of tractors in this segment is based on our assessment of longer term demand, with the ultimate goal for JBT to be a fleet that is right-sized in relation to customers needs, price elasticity and return on investment. Overall, JBTs rate per loaded mile, excluding fuel surcharges, decreased 0.5% during the current quarter, compared to the prior year period.
Dedicated Contract Services
-DCS revenue grew 2% vs. the first quarter last year. Excluding the effect of fuel surcharges, revenue declined 4%. This decline was driven primarily by a 367 unit reduction in the average truck fleet, compared to the first quarter 2007. Partially offsetting this decline in fleet size was a 3% increase in revenue per truck per week, excluding the effect of fuel surcharges. The decline in the segments truck count reflected reductions in fleets that provide more generic dedicated business. We also experienced reduced truck counts at existing fleets in response to changes in our customers business demand.
Driver productivity and container productivity measurements showed continued improvement. Current quarter dray costs were slightly higher due to driver wage and fuel increases. In addition, lane and customer mix changes drove rail empty moves slightly higher and the higher cost of fuel also increased dray and purchased transportation expenses. JBI took delivery of more than 600 new containers and chassis in the current quarter, as well as more than 80 additional tractors to support new growth that is anticipated later this year.
The freight demand softness was by far the most significant in the medium-to-long-haul Van fleet, a fleet that Werner reduced by approximately 850 trucks since mid-March 2007. We were encouraged that freight demand in Werners Regional and Expedited fleets was about the same on a year-over-year basis, considering the slowing economic conditions.