What’s more American than hard-working blue collar truckers moving goods all over the country by highways and back roads, by day or by night?
National logistics powerhouse Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) employs nearly 3,000 people in this pursuit, making it our Iowa stock pick for the Real America Index.
The North Liberty, Iowa, trucking company generates $535 million in annual revenue and operates 10 regional centers around the country. Heartland trucks transport appliances, automotive parts, consumer products, paper products, packaged foodstuffs and retail goods, mainly in short- to medium-haul markets. Its customers are primarily retailers and manufacturers and it hauls goods at distances generally up to about 500 miles.
Heartland’s home base of Iowa is a typical Midwestern state, with agricultural roots and a primarily manufacturing economy with few dense population centers. Trucking companies, independent rig operators and warehouses are responsible for nearly 9 million jobs in the U.S. according to trade association estimates. Of those, nearly 3.5 million jobs are behind the wheel of a truck. The industry consumes over 50 billion gallons of fuel a year. That’s a very real economic impact.
Locally, Heartland is an important company for the state of Iowa — but as a trucking company it also represents a key element in the American economy. Heartland should correlate reasonably well with overall American economic activity as more goods are shipped around the country to restock shelves, fill orders or provide materials for manufacturers.
Heartland manages a newer fleet of new fuel-efficient tractors, which helps it offset any rising fuel prices. The company also seeks to control costs by managing equipment downtime, adding fuel surcharge billings and making strategic fuel purchasing decisions.
Check out the complete list of Real America Index components, along with an interactive map of short-term and long-term returns.
As of this writing, Vicki Passmore did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.