SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

October 04, 2011 08:16 ET

Trucking Sector in Stronger Shape Than Expected

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on YRC Worldwide & Arkansas Best

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 4, 2011) - With the sudden slowdown in the US economy analysts were concerned that the trucking industry could be in for a difficult second half to 2011. ATA chief economist Bob Costello is more optimistic, explaining that "freight has been going sideways for much of this year, but it isn't falling significantly either, which suggests the U.S. economy just might skirt another recession." The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the trucking industry and provides equity research on YRC Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) and Arkansas Best Corporation (NASDAQ: ABFS). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Despite an onslaught of negative economic data the last month, the turnover rate for over-the-road truck drivers is at its highest point since the second quarter of 2008, according to a report by The American Trucking Association (ATA). Meanwhile the not seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 123.8 in August, which was 10.9% above the previous month. Compared to August 2010, SA tonnage is 5.2% higher, ATA said, and the tonnage index is 4.5% above a year ago.

Small truckload companies and LTL fleets saw a drop in turnover in the quarter, from 47 percent to 50 percent for small TL firms, and six percent to eight percent for LTLs.

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The ATA has boosted lobbying in recent quarters. The ATA spent $396,000 lobbying federal officials in the second quarter -- up from the $291,000 the American Trucking Associations spent in the first three months of the year -- on issues from border security and work place safety to pension reform and diesel engine retrofits, according to a disclosure report.

ATA members include FedEx Corp., UPS, Werner Enterprises Inc. and YRC Worldwide Inc, and lobbied on legislation involving other issues such as transportation of hazardous materials, global warming, fuel efficiency and truck driver shortages.

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