Customer shipping trends push ArcBest growth in 4Q 2020

Times Record Staff
Judy McReynolds, chairman, president and CEO of ArcBest

Trends in customer shipping patterns, including growth in the housing market, contributed to an increase in revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 for Fort Smith-based ArcBest.

The logistics company reported a decrease in overall revenue for the year of 2020 at $2.9 billion, compared to $3 billion in 2019. But fourth-quarter 2020 revenue of $816.4 million was nearly $100 million more than fourth quarter 2019 revenue of $717.4 million.

“Year-over-year fourth-quarter revenue growth of nearly 14% and non-GAAP operating income growth of nearly 86% reflects improvements in the demand for our integrated capacity solutions in this environment, and effective cost management,” ArcBest Chairman, President and CEO, Judy R. McReynolds, said in the company's quarterly and year-end report.

ArcBest’s full-year 2020 net income was $71.1 million, or $2.69 per diluted share, compared to net income of $40 million, or $1.51 per diluted share in 2019.

Fourth-quarter revenue growth in ArcBest’s asset-based business was the result of "improving trends in customer shipping patterns, including strength in the housing market," the company stated in its quarterly and year-end report. This contributed to shipment and tonnage growth versus the prior-year period.

"Shipment handling and freight movement metrics were also positive during the quarter and reflect the benefits of enhanced optimization and labor management tools previously implemented," the report states. "The marketplace pricing environment remains positive and rational in support of ArcBest’s efforts to secure needed price increases."

ArcBest recently restored the authorized amount of its share repurchase program for future purchases of ArcBest common stock to $50 million.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was unpredictable, and 2020 was a very challenging year for our customers and our employees,” McReynolds concluded. “Our execution during this unprecedented period is worth noting. As an essential business, our logistics solutions are aiding our customers and our society as we all navigate an uncertain event. I’m very proud of the way our employees are responding to customers’ needs for changes and continuing to strengthen our relationships while being flexible and adaptive.”