Thrilla from Manila: Trucking exec says worst is over

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — We had to search the planet to get this, but hey we got it.

The head of one of America’s biggest carriers says the worst of the recession might be behind us.

According to a story in the Manila Philippines Bulletin, Doug Stotlar, the CEO of Con-way Inc., said that after February marked the low-point for the industry, as he put it, “it looks like we may have crossed the bottom.”

(In fact, Stotlar made the remarks in a telephone interview with a Reuters News Service reporter in Chicago after the company reported its annual financials. The fact that found them in a Manila newspaper only makes our story more readable.)

Stotlar said even though his company has seen seasonal improvements in the past two months, rates remain “under pressure.”

Con-way also reported a greater-than-expected first-quarter loss and said in a statement the company was cutting salaries and suspending 401(K) contributions. (That’s like an American RRSP. – ed.)

Con-way reported that while it had posted a loss for the first quarter of this year, March was profitable. The San Mateo, California-based company reported a first-quarter net loss of $154.0 million or $3.35 a share, compared with a net profit of $22.5 million or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.

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