INDUSTRY PULSE: 2003 a tough year on carrier profit margins

OTTAWA, Ont. — The financial health of Canada’s for-hire motor carriers earning over $1 million in annual revenues took a dip for the worse in 2003, figures just released by Statistics Canada indicate.

Their operating ratio deteriorated to 0.96 in 2003, a year marked by economic shocks and rising costs,. Any ratio over 1.00 represents an operating loss.

Operating revenues for the estimated 2,900 motor carriers in this grouping totalled $20.5 billion and their operating expenses totalled $19.6 billion. Their net profit $564 million was down by more than 20% from 2002 ($711 million) and closer to the level observed in 2001 ($530 million). The operating profit margin was set at 4.4%.

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