- Marten Transport’s operating ratio increased to nearly 89% in Q2, another step away from record bests the company celebrated last year, according to an earnings statement last week.
- The setback came as Marten dealt with soft freight market demand, excess capacity and inflationary costs, the company said.
- But the carrier is poised to “capitalize on profitable organic growth opportunities as the market necessarily recovers,” Executive Chairman Randy Marten said in the earnings announcement.
Marten Transport operating ratio worsens from record
In Q1 and Q2 of last year, Marten Transport's operating ratio dipped to its lowest rates since the business became a public company in 1986. But the metric has risen for four consecutive quarters.
If that continues, its operating ratio could reach a threshold that the carrier has avoided for years. Marten’s annual operating ratio averaged above 90% for most of the previous decade.
But the carrier is relying on its unique business model and emphasis on operating efficiencies and cost controls, its executive chairman said.
Other carriers are also seeing this key metric falter this year amid a downturn. P.A.M. Transportation Services’ truckload operating ratio increased to 92.7% in Q2, and Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings’ adjusted operating ratio for its truckload segment increased to 91.8% in Q2.
“Our LTL segment weathered the soft environment well, operating in the mid-80s,” Knight-Swift CEO and President Dave Jackson said on an earnings call last week. But like truckload, its logistics and intermodal segments significantly suffered.