March 5, 2024

Saia sees 19% jump in February shipments


Less-than-truckload carrier Saia Inc. reported an 11% year-over-year (y/y) increase in tonnage per day during February. The increase was the combination of a 19% jump in shipments, which was partially offset by a 6.7% decline in weight per shipment.  

The y/y per-day growth rates accelerated from January, when the carrier’s shipments increased 11.8% and tonnage was up 3.3%. Inclement weather in January led to a larger-than-normal number of terminal closures during the month. Saia (NASDAQ: SAIA) also had an easier tonnage comp in February (down 7.6% last year), which was twice the decline that was logged in January 2023.

The February increases were a little better than the fourth quarter, when shipments were up 18% y/y and tonnage increased 8%.

March is a big month for LTL carriers and volumes in the period will dictate results for the first quarter. The month also provides a strong indication on demand for the full year.

Saia doesn’t provide any revenue-based metrics like yields or revenue per shipment in its intraquarter updates, however, management said on its fourth-quarter call in February that it expects revenue per shipment to increase by a low-single-digit percentage in 2024.

The company is executing a big growth plan this year. A $1 billion capital expenditures outlay includes roughly $550 million for real estate. The budget includes the 28 terminals it recently acquired from bankrupt Yellow Corp. (OTC: YELLQ) as well as other additions and expansions. In total, it expects to grow its net door count by 12% to 14% this year.

The bulk of the remaining budget will be used to purchase tractors and trailers.

Other carriers like ArcBest (NASDAQ: ARCB), Old Dominion (NASDAQ: ODFL) and XPO (NYSE: XPO) are expected to provide updates for February in the coming days.

Table: Company reports

More FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden


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