by Marty Cook
Posted 5/19/2014 12:00 am
Updated 6 months ago
Another strong year was all it took to put J.B. Hunt Transport Services of Lowell on top of the list of largest trucking companies doing business in Arkansas.
J.B. Hunt did it by continuing to emphasize services and not just trucking. J.B. Hunt reported revenue of nearly $5.6 billion in 2013, surpassing former No. 1 FedEx Freight, which reported approximately $5.4 billion.
J.B. Hunt was No. 3 on the list for 2011 and moved up to second the next year. Its revenue growth was up more than 10 percent from 2012.
The growth came from several divisions. Intermodal, dedicated and integrated capacity solutions each saw revenue increases of 11 percent or more. The trucking division fell 9 percent.
“You will notice that J.B. Hunt is becoming a supply chain provider,” said Jim Crowell, director of the Supply Chain Management Research Center at the University of Arkansas. “It’s not your old trucking company anymore. That’s a very impressive strategy, and you’re starting to see some really nice success.”
Crowell said J.B. Hunt has shown wisdom in adapting to the changing needs of the market, whether by using railroads more efficiently or becoming a player in the home delivery market.
“They’ve done a good job looking into the future and planning for it,” he said. “They’re not just selling truck service; they’re selling a package of services.”
Shannon Samples Newton of the Arkansas Trucking Association said the multiservice trend isn’t going away.
“Whatever meets the needs of the customer, the company is thinking outside of the box,” said Samples Newton, the ATA vice president and interim president after the resignation of Lane Kidd. “In a niche market, find someone who needs something special and then do that well. That sets you apart from the commodity of transportation.”
J.B. Hunt wasn’t the only trucking company that had a good revenue year in 2013. No. 10 USA Truck of Van Buren, No. 11 Maverick USA of North Little Rock, No. 15 Hines Trucking of Prescott and No. 16 Woodfield Inc. of Camden reported revenue increases of more than 9 percent.