C.H. Robinson’s first quarter included a 14.9% year-over-year increase in total revenues to $3,925m, but it came at the cost of its operating margin, which dropped from 5.5% to 4.9%. Its net income of $142m was 16.6% than in the same quarter the previous year.
In its North American Surface Transportation division, total revenues grew 17.9% to $2,663m. Income from operations grew 11.7% to $174m. Revenue growth was driven by increased pricing. Volumes were up just 1% in the quarter as a 7% decline in truckload volumes was more than offset by growth in LTL (+8%) and intermodal (+3%).
Total Global Forwarding revenues grew 18.1% to $554m but its income from operations fell by nearly half to $8m. Ocean gross profit increased 8.3% whilst air gross profit increased 27.7%. Customs gross profit increased 28.5%. The acquisition of Milgram & Company added approximately 5 percentage points to gross profit growth in the quarter. The operating income decline was attributed to a 21.4% increase in average headcount, as well as investments to build scale in air freight, and technology investments across all service lines.
Robinson Fresh total revenue was unchanged at $550. This was negatively directed by the loss of a “strategic customer”. Its operating income was down 36.5% due to increased variable compensation and a write-off of a supplier advance.
John Wiehoff, Chairman and CEO of C.H. Robinson, said on the company’s outlook, “We expect demand to remain high as the benefits of U.S. tax reform strengthen a growing economy. Given the driver shortage and electronic logging device mandate, we also expect industry capacity to remain tight. With these dynamics in place, we believe the current freight market fundamentals will continue throughout 2018.”
Source: C.H. Robinson
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