Swift says severe weather affected volume in Q1

US transport company, Swift, said adjusted Earnings Per Share for the first quarter of 2014 will be lower than expected – indicating that the severe weather experienced in January and February has had a lasting impact on North America’s commercial road transport industry.

According to Swift, the weather had an effect on overall volume, fuel and maintenance expense, as well as insurance and claims expense. “Given that approximately 60 per cent of Swift's volume is east of the Rockies, the weather impact was substantial,” the company said.

Notwithstanding the weather, Swift experienced encouraging trends in several areas. Utilisation, as measured by loaded miles per truck per week, in the Truckload segment was down year-over-year for the quarter, but improved sequentially each month with March increasing one per cent year-over-year.

Richard Stocking, President and Chief Operating Officer of Swift, said, “While we are disappointed by the impact of the extraordinary challenges we experienced with the weather this quarter, we are optimistic about the underlying fundamentals we are seeing in the market and the traction we are gaining on our internal initiatives.

“Capacity remains tight, demand is increasing, we are gaining momentum with pricing, and we are starting to realize positive results from our strategic initiatives. We are focused on servicing our customers and drivers and executing on our goals. The weather slowed us down temporarily, but we are excited about our future.”

Swift will release its earnings for the first quarter on Thursday, 24 April.

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