Shippers will likely start seeing increased intermodal rates from J.B. Hunt when contracts renew, according to Morgan Stanley. Hunt will pass on higher intermodal costs resulting from an arbitrator’s decision favoring Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, Hunt’s largest intermodal provider. The ruling carries an additional cost for Hunt in the form of a $26 million retroactive charge to cover those costs retroactive to July 2004 when the case entered arbitration.
Equity analyst Chad Bruso linked concerns over truckload fundamentals to an earlier announcement by Swift Transportation that it experienced weaker freight trends in July and August. Coupled with higher fuel costs, the carrier announced third-quarter earnings expectations lower than analyst predictions.