Saturday, March 7, 2009

Third Quarter Results

Summary: dismal, with some bright spots.

(As I mention in my other quarterly results posts: Your Mileage May Vary. These results are specific only to my circumstance and should be treated as (very) general guidelines to anyone considering such work.)

Miles and Fuel Surcharge were down this quarter, and my Out-Of-Route was up. Fuel expense per mile spiked to an all-time high and my average miles per week are at an all-time low. Revenue was down markedly, yet my net pay wasn't affected as much as I would have thought given the numbers, and I did exceed my pay goals.

Total miles run in the quarter were 34,280, compared to approximately 37,000 and 35,383 in the first two quarters, respectively. Total paid miles were 31,402, resulting in an OOR (Out-Of-Route) of 9.17%, slightly worse than my 9.15% first quarter and the worst yet for me.

Fuel expense was down to just 9,928 for the quarter, with a 5,549 FSC leaving an adjusted fuel cost of 4,379. Even though I spent about 12,500 less on fuel at the pump than in the first quarter, I still ended up paying about 400 dollars more out-of-pocket this quarter, due to the dwindling fuel surcharge. Again, I can't wait for the price of fuel to rise and help me out.

Fuel expense per mile spiked to 12.77 cents, a large increase over the 10.66 and 10.06 first and second quarters. In large part this reflected my poor showing in OOR miles, but also the much-reduced FSC adjustment.

Average weekly paid miles dropped to an all-time low of 2,416, compared to 2,608 and 2,566 in the first two quarters. This mostly had to do with more time off taken around the end of the year and one thousand mile trip that managed to miss the cutoff for the last payday in this current quarter. Still, the miles have been shrinking each quarter, a worrisome trend.

Total revenue for the quarter absolutely tanked, at 36,210 (compared with 50,585 in the first quarter and 44,381 in the second). I did run about 5% fewer miles, but the large factor here was the plummeting FSC. Last quarter I was paid about 6,600 more in FSC than this quarter.

Revenue per mile likewise shrank, from 1.49 in the first quarter (with a very high FSC), to 1.33 in the second quarter and just 1.15 in the third quarter.

My goal of 800 dollars per week net pay was easily met, with 12,296 paid to me during the quarter for a weekly average of 946. I also set aside 500 dollars per week into my savings escrow (on average; there were some weeks where nothing went and some where I doubled up to make up the difference) for an average of 1,446 per week in total. Compare that with 1,530 per week in my second quarter.


27: 268 (+500 toward escrows)
28: 1561 (+500 toward escrows)
29: 699 (+500 toward escrows)
30: 228
31: 2207
32: 294 (+1000 toward escrows)
33: 1520 (+1000 toward escrows)
34: 95 (+1000 toward escrows)
35: 1280 (+500 toward escrows)
36: 545 (+500 toward escrows)
37: 2336 (+500 toward escrows)
38: 466 (+500 toward escrows)
39: 797


My goals are going to be based around returning to the efficiency that I demonstrated in the first two quarters.

First, that Out-Of-Route number has to get cut down to 6-8% max. The runs to Phoenix for PetSmart loads are mostly to blame for this rise, since they assume unrealistic routes that make those loads one of the worst for OOR. Also, I need to lay into my dispatcher more on reimbursement for miles I run doing company errands like getting a trailer washed out, or a reefer fueled and not getting paid for those miles. Since I don't even get FSC for these miles they really, really hurt the bottom line.

Second, I want to bring my average paid weekly miles up 200-300 if possible into the 2,700ish range. The holidays are over, the gnarly winter weather is starting to abate and I should be able to run a bit better in the early-to-mid spring.

Third, I want to boost my target for weekly net pay to 1,500. I have temporarily suspended adding more money to my savings escrow so all my net pay will flow into my bank account this quarter. I'm hoping for something in the neighborhood of 20,000 to me after all truck expenses are paid (but not taxes, health care or the like).

My fourth quarter, and thus my first year as a lease-purchase operator, comes to an end the first week of June, 2009.