Sponsored by Oregon Business

Truck stop business sputters

| Print |  Email
Archives - August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009

At least 16 trucks hauling Lexus cars from Toyota Logistics used to pull into the Baker Truck Corral each week, heading for Denver, Colo. That’s a drastic difference from the few that now arrive at the Baker City truck stop. And it’s the same story at other truck stops around the state: Traffic is down, so business is, too.

Kurt Miller, owner of Baker Truck Corral, says traffic through his stop is off by 30%. Miller’s strategy for keeping business up is to concentrate on serving the locals instead of “just relying on truckers.” So far his method seems to be working. Miller says revenue for the Corral has been consistent from 2008 to 2009, and although diesel sales have dropped about 40%, gasoline sales rose in June.

It’s a different story for the Flying J in Troutdale, where revenue has sunk by about 30% in the last six months. General manager Glen Mackey says the reason is the lower demand for products trucked into Oregon. The amount of diesel pumped also dropped, down about 400,000 gallons from May 2008. The Flying J, a national chain of truck stops that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, faces stiff competition from Travel Centers of America (which is at the same exit off I-84).

Business at other Oregon truck stops falls between that of Baker Truck Corral and the Flying J. The Seven Feathers Truck & Travel in Canyonville reports diesel sales are down but gasoline sales are up. Truck ’N Travel in Coburg has seen a 20% drop in diesel sales and a 10% drop in gas sales in the past year.

Truck stop managers blamed the economy for most of their financial troubles. Truck ’N Travel president John Anderson says business started slowing about 18 months ago. “We’re going to precede the economy in either upswings or downswings,” he says. “Freight seems to slow down faster or pick up prior to the economic indicator.”

Most truck stops rely on a variety of services to make up for dwindling fuel profits. The Seven Feathers truck stop abuts a tribal casino and offers discounts to casino guests. Jubitz supplements its fuel service by providing everything from a restaurant and shoe repair shop to a theater and medical clinic.

Executives at Jubitz, located at exit 305 off I-5 in Portland, at first estimated fuel sales to be down about 20%, but when VP Victor Stibolt checked the books, he found that from January 2008 to January 2009 there was a 13% decrease, and from June 2008 to June 2009 an 8% decrease in sales. “We do feel that things have bottomed out and that we’re beginning to see some upticks,” says Stibolt.


More Articles

Fare Thee Well, Company Town

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Corporate headquarters are no longer a marker of economic prowess.


The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Run, Nick, Run

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Controversial track star Nick Symmonds is leveraging his celebrity to grow a performance chewing-gum brand. Fans hail his marketing ploys as genius. Critics dub them shameless.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


After the Orange Line

Linda Baker
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
090815-trimet-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Alan Lehto, TriMet's director of policy & planning, shares a few thoughts on ride sharing and more nimble bus services.


100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02