Saia’s 6.5% GRI outpaces LTL peers

Less-than-truckload carrier Saia implemented a 6.5% general rate increase (GRI) for shipments subject to general rules tariffs. The company also raised select accessorial and minimum charges. The increases are effective Monday and expected to “partially offset the rising costs of investing in personnel, real estate, equipment, and technology,” a news release stated.

Saia’s (NASDAQ: SAIA) GRI in January 2022 was expected to average a 7.5% increase.

“By continuously investing in our network, in addition to our employees, new equipment, technology, and sustainability initiatives, we’re able to offer customers the industry leading service they require,” said Matthew Batteh, Saia’s VP of pricing and analytics. “Each new terminal we’ve opened supports our growth strategy of getting closer to the shipper, which aligns with our ‘Customer First’ core value.”

The company has opened 18 new terminals over the last two years. It has also relocated several existing sites into “better-situated” locations. The carrier has plans to open an undisclosed number of new terminals in 2023.

Saia’s GRI came in a little bit higher and later than that of its peers.

Yellow (NASDAQ: YELL), ArcBest (NASDAQ: ARCB) and TForce Freight (NYSE: TFII) implemented 5.9% GRIs in October and November. FedEx Freight (NYSE: FDX) raised base rates by as much as 7.9% at the beginning of the year. Old Dominion (NASDAQ: ODFL) began a 4.9% GRI at the same time.

Forward Air’s (NASDAQ: FWRD) 5.9% GRI starts Feb. 6.

The above-market increase comes as Saia looks to raise rates to levels commensurate with its service offering and peers, according to Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) analyst Amit Mehrotra.

“This is consistent with our analysis that shows Saia is underpriced for the service it provides,” Mehrotra said in a Monday note to clients. “For example, we estimate SAIA’s pricing on a mix-adjusted basis (ie, ton miles) is significantly below peers’ despite SAIA’s service being above the industry benchmark for national LTL carriers.”

Mehrotra was referencing an annual industry survey of LTL shippers conducted by Mastio, which showed Saia was ranked in the top five for national carriers.

The GRIs come as volumes continue to deteriorate from the all-time highs established during the recent freight boom. Year-over-year tonnage comparisons flatlined by the end of the summer, turning sharply lower in October and November.

“This is positive for the industry in the context of still weak volumes, and adds to existing data points that support the case for overall pricing discipline,” Mehrotra said. “The bottom line is that pricing remains strong in LTL, with Saia seemingly leading the way to catch up to peers, with its better service being key to allowing it to drive disproportionate pricing growth.”

Saia will report fourth-quarter 2022 results on Friday before the market opens. Stay tuned to FreightWaves for earnings coverage of Saia and other LTL carriers.

More FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden

Reefer rejection rates fall to 5.79%

videojs.getPlayer('1756458992300549093').ready(function() {
var myPlayer = this;
myPlayer.on("loadedmetadata", function() {
var browser_language, track_language, audioTracks;
browser_language = navigator.language || navigator.userLanguage; // IE <= 10
browser_language = browser_language.substr(0, 2);

audioTracks = myPlayer.audioTracks();
for (var i = 0; i < audioTracks.length; i++) {
track_language = audioTracks[i].language.substr(0, 2);
if (track_language) {
if (track_language === browser_language) {
audioTracks[i].enabled = true;

The post Saia’s 6.5% GRI outpaces LTL peers appeared first on FreightWaves.

Source: freightwaves - Saia’s 6.5% GRI outpaces LTL peers
Editor: Todd Maiden