Opportunistic Growth Helps ODFL Bottom Line

In its just-concluded earnings call, Old Dominion Freight Lines noted opportunistic growth from the Consolidated Freightways closure in 2002 helped the company to grow market share and volume in 2003. The regional LTL carrier's fourth quarter 2003 income rose to $7.7 million from $5.4 million the prior year. Full-year results showed a 49% increase in net income, reaching $27.6 million in 2003 vs. $18.5 million in 2002.

Old Dominion opened nine new service centers in 2003, three of those in the fourth quarter. The company experienced 17% growth in freight volume, but less than 0.5% of that came from the new or expanded terminals. The company will continue its expansion in 2004. It plans 10 new service centers in 2004, many coming from the auction of Consolidated Freightways assets. The impact of those service centers will not be felt immediately as the company pursues staffing at those facilities. Seven of the service centers are expected to come on line in the first half of 2004.

Operations at the Minneapolis, MN; Rock Island, IL; and Wilmington, DE service centers were expanded in 2003 through opportunities to acquire larger terminals. New service centers include Dayton, OH; Sarasota, FL; Youngstown, OH; Wasau, WI; Lansing, MI; and LaCrosse, WI. Old Dominion now operates in 38 states, 27 of which offer full-state coverage.

The company said it increased use of rail in 2003 where they could move freight to the West Coast over the weekend without negatively affecting service.

The carrier said it experienced growth in length of haul following the Consolidated Freightways bankruptcy, however, it said all categories of length of haul grew during the year: regional, less than 650 miles; inter-regional, 650-1,000 miles; and long haul, 1,000 miles or more. www.odfl.com

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