The frozen assets of other companies mean big business for Frozen Food Express Industries, one of the largest temperature-controlled trucking companies in the US. Through its subsidiaries, which include FFE Transportation Services and Lisa Motor Lines, the company transports truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Hauling temperature-sensitive cargo accounts for most of the company's sales. Frozen Food Express Industries also hauls dry freight, under the American Eagle Lines brand, and offers logistics services. Overall, the company maintains a fleet of about 1,260 tractors and 2,350 trailers. FFE traces its roots to 1946.
FFE has suffered three straight years of net losses, its largest being the $37 million loss it posted in 2011. The net loss was due to its operating expenses going up by 10% for 2011. This amount was driven mostly by a 30% spike in fuel expenses and fuel taxes due to an increase in net fuel price per gallon.
Despite the losses, its revenues went up by 5% from 2010 to 2011 as a result of a 41% increase in revenue from fuel surcharges and a more than 170% surge in demand for its brokerage and logistics services.
FFE differentiates itself from competitors by offering both truckload and LTL hauling of temperature-controlled freight. (LTL carriers combine cargo from multiple shippers into a single trailer.) The company offers LTL services from a network of about a dozen terminals throughout the US. It is one of the few national LTL carriers offering temperature controlled hauling.
The company hopes to gain revenue from its logistics operations, including freight brokerage (matching shippers' cargo with truckers' capacity) and its dedicated fleet services, in which drivers and equipment are assigned to a customer long-term. In addition, FFE is expanding its intermodal business, which involves arranging the transportation of freight by multiple methods, such as truck and train.
In order to widen its customer base, in 2012 FFE began offering bulk tank transportation services for the oil drilling industry. FFE Transportation Services now hauls fresh water to drill sites for a major driller customer in West Texas. In order to grow, FFE is expanding this service and placed orders for 25 specialty tank trailers.
Thomson Horstmann & Bryant owns 12% of the company. – less