Costs continue to outpace revenues for nation’s top motor carriers

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OTTAWA, Ont. Financial statistics for the nation’s largest carriers (the 97 Canadian-based trucking companies earning $25 million or more annually) continue on their worrisome trend, the latest Statistics Canada data reveals.

Operating revenues for the nation’s top carriers in the third quarter of 2007 were up 5.8% but their operating expenses increased 6.7%, on a year over year basis, continuing the trend of cost increases growing faster than revenue gains.

Average per-carrier revenues decreased 0.7% from the third quarter of 2006 to $26.2 million. Average per-carrier expenses remained almost unchanged at $24.7 million.

As a result, the top for-hire carriers’ operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenue) stood at 0.95, compared with 0.94 in the third quarter of 2006. A ratio greater than 1.00 represents an operating loss.

The top carriers generated operating revenues of $2.5 billion and operating expenses of $2.4 billion in the third quarter, both up less than 1% from the previous quarter.

Data on the top for-hire carriers for the third quarter of 2007, taken from the Quarterly Motor Carriers of Freight Survey, provide results from 66 general freight carriers and 31 specialized freight carriers.

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