Market Pulse

Old Dominion revenues climb 24%, profits up 52%

For the first six months of 2006, total revenues for Old Dominion Freight Line (www.odfl.com) increased 24% to $622 million from $501 million for the first half of 2005. Net income rose 52% to $34.6 million for the latest six months from $22.8 million in the same period of the previous year.

"We believe our success is increasingly driven by our ability to provide single-source solutions for our customers'logistics needs in regional, national and internationalmarkets. As a result, our second quarter performance represented the ninth consecutive quarter of revenue growth in excess of 20%," said Earl E. Congdon, chairman and CEO of Old Dominion. Geographic expansion also contributed to Old Dominion's revenue growth for the second quarter. The company opened five new service centers in San Jose, California; Fort Myers, Florida; Pendergrass, Georgia; Fargo, North Dakota; and Tacoma, Washington. It plans to open seven more service centers in the second half of 2006.


Norfolk Southern reports record revenues, volume

Operating revenues for Norfolk Southern Corp. (Norfolk, Va., www.nscorp.com), which operates Norfolk Southern Railway , increased 11% to a record $2.39 billion in the second quarter. Earnings took a hit however, falling to $375 million from $424 million for the year-ago period.

During the second quarter, carload shipments increased 4% to a record 2 million units. Railway operating revenues for the first half of 2006 set a six-month record, increasing 14 percent to $4.7 billion. Traffic volume during the first half increased 4%, strengthened by an additional 77,000 carloads in the quarter and some 171,000 units year to date.

"Demand for rail transportation continues to grow in most sectors of our business, and our second-quarter results reflect strong volume growth and an improved operating ratio," said CEO Wick Moorman.

General merchandise revenues for the company set records for both the second quarter and the first six months. The company attributed the revenue growth to higher average revenues, including fuel surcharges, as well as increased traffic volume.


Estes Air hires former Con-way staff

Estes Air (Richmond, Va., www.estes-express.com), the global freight forwarding group of Estes Express Lines, has hired 15 members of the staff that was laid off when Con-way Forwarding shut down in early June. Estes Air now has a total of 50 employees. "Many major airfreight forwarders were actively recruiting these top professionals, and we were pleased when so many of them chose to join us," said Billy Hupp, executive v.p. and COO for Estes.


Prologis boosts Mexican presence by 40%

ProLogis (Denver, www.prologis.com), a provider of distribution facilities and services, acquired more than 3.5 million sq. ft. of industrial space and land in Mexico for $238 million in cash and assumed debt. The acquisition increases the company's footprint in the country by more than 40%.

"When we launched service in Mexico in 1997, we deliberately focused on northern border markets that serve as distribution and light manufacturing points for products being exported to the United States," said Jeff Schwartz, CEO of Pro-Logis. "Over the past several years, however, the Mexican economy has undergone a number of important structural improvements, including currency stabilization and banking reform. These changes are driving economic growth, expansion of the country's middle class and increased domestic consumption of consumer goods."

The acquired portfolio comprises 18 buildings in six industrial parks, varying in size from 124,000 to 1.3 million sq. ft. Five of the parks are in Mexico City and the sixth is in southeastern Guadalajara The properties have a blended occupancy rate of about 89%. Existing tenants include APL, Becton Dickenson, Canon, Evenflo, Exel, Hasbro, Office Depot, TYCO and Whirlpool.

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