Old Dominion’s conundrum: Revenue falls as weight per shipment soars

A sharp decline in the amount of freight hauled by Old Dominion Freight Line this month has been accompanied by an unexpected shift: a big increase in the weight per shipment.

For an LTL carrier like ODFL, that increase can create problems for maintaining its yield as measured by revenue per hundredweight. In its first-quarter earnings, ODFL management cited an increase in weight per shipment as a reason why revenue per hundredweight had deteriorated during the period.

In the call with analysts that accompanied the release of the earnings, CFO Adam Satterfield laid out some of the numbers the company has seen in its business, many of which don’t logically tie together but are coming out of a market that is unprecedented in the body blows and disruptions it has dished out.

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