Less-than-truckload provider Yellow Corp. (NASDAQ: YELL), formerly YRC Worldwide, announced Monday tonnage fell 5.5% year-over-year in February following a 2.5% increase in January. Revenue per hundredweight, or yield, was up 6.3% in February, significantly higher than the 1.8% increase in January.
The Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier’s tonnage reversal was largely due to severe winter storms, which impacted operations at 215 of the company’s 327 freight terminals. A press release said nearly all of the company’s facilities have returned to normal operations.
Yellow’s shipments in February fell 4.8% year-over-year with weight per shipment down 0.8%.
For February, ArcBest Corp. (NASDAQ: ARCB) had a roughly 7% year-over-year decline in tonnage, with Saia Inc. (NASDAQ: SAIA) reporting a 2.3% decline. By comparison, Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) emerged from the month relatively unscathed, posting a 5.9% increase, still notably lower than its 11.9% increase in January.
While the group posted a rough month, it appears a continuation in the LTL freight recovery remains in progress.
A February survey of manufacturing supply executives increased again, logging its ninth consecutive month in growth territory. The 60.8% reading from the Purchasing Managers’ Index was the highest level of this freight cycle and firmly above the all-important 50% threshold, which indicates expansion in the U.S. manufacturing sector.
For many LTL carriers, the manufacturing segment can represent more than 80% of tonnage, and LTL shipments historically lag the index by three months.
The latest reading for industrial production showed a 0.9% sequential improvement in January with manufacturing output increasing 1%, according to the Federal Reserve. It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase for the dataset. The year-over-year comparison was 1.8% lower, but the negative comps to 2020 have continued to decline.
Citing high demand, Yellow recently announced that it was adding 1,500 drivers and opening 12 new driver schools.