Connect with us

Supply Chain

U.S. Xpress has strong second quarter

Avatar

Published

on

U.S. Xpress turned in strong second quarter earnings, with its closely watched operating ratio (OR) improving both year-on-year and sequentially.

The truckload carrier’s GAAP operating ratio of 96.1% was 180 basis points better than the 97.9% it recorded in the second quarter of last year. But an even bigger improvement was posted in the company’s GAAP OR for the first quarter, when USX turned in an OR of 100.8%. 

The non-GAAP adjusted OR for USX in the second quarter was 95.9%, an improvement of 160 basis points from the second quarter of 2019. The improvement from the first quarter was even more substantial, strengthening 500 basis points – from 100.9% in the first three months of the year.

The biggest driver of the improvement at USX was operating revenue. It rose to $393.9 million from $371.1 million last year before fuel surcharges, which declined to $28.5 million from $42.6 million. Employee wages and purchased transportation were both higher, up to $139.9 million for salaries, wages and benefits from $130.5 million, and up to $117.3 million from $112.5 million for purchased transportation. But overall, operating expenses at $406.2 million were only slightly higher than the second quarter of 2019.

The end result was that operating income was $16.2 million, up from $8.78 million in the second quarter of 2019. Net income rose to $9.49 million from $2.67 million last year. 

Earnings of $0.18 per share, according to SeekingAlpha, beat street estimates by $0.33  per share, meaning the consensus was for a net loss. The total revenue of $422.4 million – which includes fuel surcharge revenue – was $7.7 million better than the street consensus.

The improved performance came despite downturns in some  metrics. Average revenue per tractor per week in the over the road division dropped to $3,558 from $3,625 while average revenue per mile in that segment dropped slightly to $2.351 from $2.355. But average revenue miles per tractor per week rose to 1,918 from 1,853, and the dedicated division’s performance in that metric rose to 1,753 from 1,706, But the dedicated division also saw its average revenue per tractor per week rise to $4,122 from $4,018.

In both the company’s prepared statement released with its earnings as well as his comments during the company’s call with analysts, USX CEO Eric Fuller gave much of the credit to the improvement in new digital initiatives aimed at drivers, a specific fleet that has been rolled out in stages. (For a separate article on the initiative, dubbed Variant, please go here. Fuller did not mention Variant by name in his call.)

He said the fleet of drivers armed with the company’s proprietary digital technology is “recruited, planned, dispatched and managed using artificial intelligence and digital platforms.”

The rollout of the program was into 100 trucks by the first quarter. In the recently concluded second quarter that number was up to 400. Plans for further expansion are ambitious. 

USX has plans to further roll out the program, but it isn’t the type of thing that is just given to the drivers. Given that it is a technology-driven method for determining the optimization of routes and other planning, “right now, there are many company drivers who are part of the problem,” Fuller said on the earnings call. “Part of the problem is we’ve got to go outside our fleet now to find drivers for this model. We have higher expectations. We want somebody more comfortable operating in an automated or digital environment.”

Fuller noted that the benefits from what USX calls its Digital Fleet are not necessarily visible to its customers; they aren’t being equipped with new technology. But he added that the company’s results so far are that the Digital Fleet is turning in about a 20% improvement in miles/week compared to the broader over-the-road fleet, and that the driver turnover rate in the Digital Fleet has improved at an annual rate of about 70%. Drivers are making more money and they’re sticking around, Fuller said. 

In response to an analyst question, Fuller said there may be a reduction in back office headcount as a result of the Digital Fleet, “but that is not our big focus. It is an ability to leverage technology to drive better results.”

Fuller, in commenting on the market, said spot market opportunities are “vast… we are turning down a lot of freight.” He said USX continues to try to “balance commitment” while taking advantage of a “premium market that we think will stay this way for quite a while.”

USX has long fought high driver turnover rates that Fuller said are being combated in part by the Digital Fleet. But it also gives him a perspective on driver capacity that is close to the issue. From the perspective of freight rates, it’s a bullish outlook.

Fuller said as a result of CDL school closures or cutbacks as a result of the pandemic, there have been 100,000 fewer new CDLs issued than at this time last year. Combine that with restrictions on driver movement as a result of the federal drug and alcohol clearinghouse and “we think it is likely there could be 150,000 to 200,000 drivers that come out of the market within this calendar year,” Fuller said. “That is a pretty significant piece.”

More articles by John Kingston

Ansonia, specializing in credit data for trucking and logistics, acquired by Equifax

Smartdrive releases new driver alert systems on bad weather and parked vehicles

Drilling Deep: Trucking got big money from PPP; what will be the impact?

Source: https://s29755.pcdn.co/news/u-s-xpress-has-strong-second-quarter

Blockchain

Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology in Accountancy

Potential-Benefits-of-Blockchain-Technology-in-Accountancy

Wondering how Blockchain can revolutionize accounting? You have landed on the right page. This article will talk about Blockchain technology, technologies that make Blockchain possible, and how it can impact the accounting domain.    So let’s get started with what this technology is all about.    Table of Contents    What is Blockchain? Technologies That … Read More

The post Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology in Accountancy first appeared on Blockchain Consultants.

Avatar

Published

on

Potential-Benefits-of-Blockchain-Technology-in-Accountancy

Wondering how Blockchain can revolutionize accounting? You have landed on the right page. This article will talk about Blockchain technology, technologies that make Blockchain possible, and how it can impact the accounting domain.    So let’s get started with what this technology is all about.    Table of Contents    What is Blockchain? Technologies That … Read More

Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/potential-benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-accountancy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=potential-benefits-of-blockchain-technology-in-accountancy

Continue Reading

Aerospace

Adept at adaptation

Avatar

Published

on

Adept at adaptation

There may be challenges ahead for the industry, but UK-based AS9100 Rev D accredited precision engineering specialists, Bright Engineering says it is holding its nerve.

Being situated at the heart of East Lancashire’s aerospace belt might normally be seen as an overwhelming benefit for any small business involved in advanced manufacturing. However, as is the case for many subcontractors up and down the country, the grinding to a halt of the commercial aviation sector has proved to be a huge challenge, albeit not entirely insurmountable.

Bright Engineering services a number of industries with the supply of precision components and sub-assemblies and has customers across the UK, and several in the US. Bright counts aerospace as around 20-30% of its operating income, but is fortunate to be involved in many other sectors including green technologies, electronics and automation, as well as defence.

Pre-lockdown, the company had built up resilience on the back of strong multi-sector demand in 2018-2019, and in 2019 pressed ahead with a fairly extensive programme of machine tool investment upwards of £1 million. This expenditure signified Bright’s most major rejuvenation of the shopfloor and replacement of ageing machinery it had seen for several years, and followed a trade mission to Yamazaki Mazak’s headquarters and plant operations in Japan.

Bright’s latest CNC machines include the Mazak Variaxis i500 and the Integrex J200S

For Bright, the benefit of the trip not only extended to witnessing first-hand how the machine tool manufacturer handles quality, but allowed the business to forge new relationships which have endured. From this experience Bright now counts new customers and suppliers which have allowed it to strengthen the business throughout the pandemic.

One of these relationships led to a production order for ventilator components, which carried the business and its people through the dark days of the March 2020 lockdown.

“The medical order at the time of the Covid outbreak was a matter of pride for Bright and its workforce,” says managing director, Jon Hoyle. “It involved working day and night seven days a week until it was complete and our team enjoyed being part of this national effort. It kept us going mentally, as well as at an operational level.”

As the end of the lockdown emerged, Bright’s usual customers started coming back to life, although Hoyle admits in certain sectors it is still only coming back in fits and starts. Sales from the US have remained strong, whereas many buyers in the UK have remained on furlough. The result from this is all to do with adaptability. Pre-lockdown, Bright’s strategic aims were around building a long-term orderbook for the future.

Ready and willing

The company admits the vision is currently a bit shorter-term, but as sales director, Steve Amey says: “It ensures we remain flexible, listen to the needs of our customers and evolve the business plan on a monthly basis. That is the reality of 2020, and we believe that regular refinement of our working model will make us all the stronger in readiness for 2021. The capacity to spring back is ready and waiting.”

Of course, the business has utilised the much-welcomed furlough scheme as the pandemic has evolved. However, it has also taken many positive steps to guarantee operational stability in testing times. In certain cases, remote working has really proved positive for Bright and the workforce have made good use of products, such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. to really stay in touch, keep things moving for the clients, and transmit key messages to staff around the pandemic.

As well as staff communication, Bright has also engaged some really creative uses of Teams, as Amey continues: “Involvement in the Ventilator Challenge UK project was a fast-paced affair, with design and production requirements evolving several times a day. At one point, Teams was the catalyst for one of the quickest pieces of customer decision-making I have seen in my career.”

The episode Amey refers to was a dramatic win in terms of customer experience, and saw Bright on Teams chat with its own supplier partner, the customer, as well as the end user. The usual protecting of sources had to be put to one side for the good of the project, and in fact led to one of the proudest moments of collaboration Bright has been involved with. With Bright’s strategic input, using the customer’s CAD/CAM package over Teams, a component was redesigned, re-posted to CAM and sample component produced by Bright within 90 minutes of the initial technical query being raised.

Indeed, there have been some other real wins for the business during the course of the year too. As certain staff may have been off work for shielding purposes, the company’s apprentice cohort were relied upon more heavily.

“The conditions thrust on us by this pandemic have actually allowed our apprentices to shine,” states Hoyle. “20% of our workforce are undergoing training from Level 3 to HNC, and during the ventilator production our youngsters seized the challenge, often taking the responsibility that we would expect of a quality inspector or section leader. We got to see their very best attributes over a four-week period and it was impressive.”

Bright has rejuvenated its shopfloor and replaced ageing machinery

Further to keeping production moving, the apprentice team have at times, had slightly more interaction with their leaders, and less day-to-day pressures than any other normal year in the company’s history. Ensuring this time wasn’t wasted, it has allowed for accelerated periods of learning on Bright’s latest complex CNC machines, such as the Variaxis i500 and the Integrex J200S multi-tasking machines. In fact, it hasn’t gone unnoticed across any of Bright’s senior leaders that its apprentices have really seized the opportunity to develop their skills over the last six months.

On the horizon

As Bright looks to the near future, there is an equal mixture of concern and trepidation but also a feeling of opportunity. Hoyle believes there is a strong case for the government to continue some targeted support for the sector. Areas like East Lancashire, Motorsport Valley in the South East, West Midlands, Northern Ireland and the North East all provide a rich and varied contribution to the UK advanced manufacturing output as a whole. Plenty of people in the industry felt a continuation of the job retention scheme was necessary, particularly in a way that specifically encouraged part-time working. The Chancellor has since made his announcement, but Bright would also like to see business rate support as well as increased assistance for apprentices over the age of 18, particularly those on HNC programmes.

“Aerospace provides a large portion of business to UK subcontractors and government and companies themselves need to get to the other side of the pandemic in one piece,” concludes Hoyle. “For the foreseeable future, we control costs, look at alternative revenue streams and get even closer to our existing customers.

“Customers in the main aren’t looking to exploit the current situation. Instead they want reliable trustworthy supply chain partners and our continued support. We also talk to our competitors and listen to their problems and successes; sharing best practice is usually free of charge, but highly valuable, and that one successful collaboration could make all the difference to our joint future success.”

www.brightengineering.co.uk

Tags

Share This Article

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Further Articles

Most recent Articles

Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/bright-adept-at-adaptation-13102020/

Continue Reading

Aerospace

ElevAero acquisition strengthens Midlands based supply chain

Avatar

Published

on

ElevAero acquisition strengthens Midlands based supply chain

Adam Bartram director of ElevAero (left) with FPL’s former owner Geoff Neale

ElevAero, a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialist fabrications, assemblies and machined components for the aerospace and defence sectors, has acquired 100% shares of Formrite Precision Limited (FPL). The acquisition took effect from the 1st of October 2020 for an undisclosed sum as ElevAero continues to expand from its base in Nuneaton (UK).

FPL has established facilities in Aldridge, West Midlands, supplying a range of tooling and precision components to the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries. Core services provided by FPL include large fabrications, machined components, test rigs and ground support equipment and assemblies. The company has leading OEMs and large tiered engine suppliers in its customer base.

FPL manufactures large fabrications, machined components, test rigs and ground support equipment

ElevAero says the acquisition is a strategic purchase which will complement and enhance its cost-effective offering for aerospace component manufacture, assembly and low-cost sourcing and supply.

Adam Bartram, director and owner of ElevAero said: “We have been looking to acquire Formrite Precision for some time to strengthen our position in the marketplace and to offer our clients a total end to end supply option. In a challenging time for the aerospace industry we are very proud to be in a position to continue investing in the right opportunities that will provide our customers with reliable, competitive supply solutions whilst protecting and creating jobs in the Midlands.”

www.elevaero.com

https://formrite.co.uk

Tags

Share This Article

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Further Articles

Most recent Articles

Source: https://www.aero-mag.com/elevaero-acquisition-strengthens-midlands-based-supply-chain/

Continue Reading
Blockchain5 hours ago

Top 10 Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Providers

Esports6 hours ago

Where to Find the Electirizer and Magmarizer in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports8 hours ago

How to get Electabuzz and Electivire in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

South Africa
Esports8 hours ago

Cloud9 terminate contracts of JT, motm, Sonic, T.c

Esports8 hours ago

How to get Absol in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports8 hours ago

Loops Esports’ Federal named MVP of the PMPL Americas season 2

Esports8 hours ago

Loops Esports win PMPL Americas season 2, 3 teams qualify for the PMGC

Esports10 hours ago

How to evolve Tyrunt and Amaura in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports11 hours ago

Here are the scores and standings for the PUBG Mobile EMEA League 2020 Finals

Esports11 hours ago

PUBG Mobile Global Championship to highlight player achievements with Esports Annual Awards 2020

Esports13 hours ago

Rivals League member Emma Handy on her first top finish at the 2020 Grand Finals

Esports14 hours ago

Best moveset for Sirfetch’d in Pokémon Go

Esports14 hours ago

How to get Galarian Yamask in Pokémon Go

Esports15 hours ago

How to Climb in Fall Guys

Esports15 hours ago

Phasmophobia Server Version Mismatch: How to Fix the Error

Esports15 hours ago

Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch Bundle Restocked and Available Again

Esports15 hours ago

Animal Crossing Joe Biden: Visiting Joe Biden’s Animal Crossing Island

Esports15 hours ago

Among Us Matchmaker is Full: How to Fix the Error

Esports15 hours ago

How to get the Reins of Unity in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports15 hours ago

Apex Legends Season 7 UFO Teaser Arrives In-Game

Esports15 hours ago

Bjergsen Retires, Takes Up Head Coach Role for Team SoloMid

Denmark
Esports16 hours ago

Heroic beat Astralis to complete lower bracket gauntlet, reach final at DreamHack Open Fall

Esports16 hours ago

How to get Victini in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports16 hours ago

How to “head to the Giant’s Bed to find the Mayor” in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports17 hours ago

How to complete Legendary Clue? 4 and catch Necrozma in Pokémon Sword and Shield’s The Crown Tundra expansion

Esports17 hours ago

TSM Doublelift: “The entire Worlds experience after the first week, we probably had a 10-percent win rate in scrims”

Esports19 hours ago

Call of Duty: Warzone players report game-breaking glitch at the start of matches

Esports19 hours ago

All Minecraft MC Championship 11 teams

Esports19 hours ago

Washington Justice re-signs Decay, acquires Mag

Esports19 hours ago

Silver Lining Warzone Blueprint: How to Get

Esports19 hours ago

League of Legends pros react to Bjergsen’s retirement announcement

Esports19 hours ago

Comstock Warzone Blueprint: How to Get

Blockchain News19 hours ago

Concerns Arise as North Korea’s Financial Services Commission Unsure of Its Cryptocurrency Mandate

Esports19 hours ago

Genshin Impact Resin System Change Introduced in Latest Patch

Esports20 hours ago

Revolution Warzone Blueprint: How to Get and Build

Esports20 hours ago

Red Crown Warzone Blueprint: How to Get

Esports20 hours ago

Animal Crossing’s Turnip Prices Will Hit All-Time High on ‘ Ally Island’

Esports20 hours ago

Black Ops Cold War Playstation Exclusive Zombie Mode Teased

Esports20 hours ago

BR Solo Survivor Warzone Mode Recently Added

Esports20 hours ago

Blinding Lights Fortnite Emote: How Much Does it Cost?

Trending