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OTTAWA, Ont. — Statistics Canada estimates as of the third quarter of last year that 2,705 for-hire Canadian trucking companies enjoyed annual revenues of $1 million or more.

That compares with about 2,477 carriers in the same period of 1999.

The statistics agency says their operating revenues in the third quarter totaled $5 billion. Total operating expenses reached $4.6 billion, up 13 per cent from the third quarter of 1999.

On a year-over-year basis, the average operating revenues rose three per cent, to $1.85 million, while expenses climbed almost four per cent to $1.72 million.

For-hire carriers’ total fuel expenses rose 29 per cent over the third quarter of 1999, the starting period of major increases in fuel prices. The operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenues) fell to 0.93, one point lower than in 1999.

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