Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trucker J.B. Hunt remains bullish on rail intermodal

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J.B. Hunt, a major over-the-road carrier, issued a third-quarter earnings report Tuesday that disappointed Wall Street, with both revenue and earnings falling below expectations. But the trucking company expressed optimism over the future of its intermodal business.

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"We believe that, as our rail partners continue to make multiyear investments to improve service and network efficiency and as shippers remain under economic and environmental pressure to find sustainable alternatives to truck, the long-term outlook of our intermodal business is very attractive," said the trucking company.

"As a result it is important for us to continue to make strategic investments even in the midst of harsh market conditions. In the interim, we are focused on cost reduction efforts to help mitigate competitive price pressures," said J.B. Hunt.

Lowell, Ark.-based J.B. Hunt said recent contract negotiations resulted in an overall decrease in price as well as changes in mix of freight which, along with "only modest increases in seasonal volumes, lead us to expect earnings comparisons will continue to be difficult over the short term."