Truckload carrier Smithway Motor Xpress posted losses of $1.2 million on revenue of $44.6 million in the second quarter, compared to losses of just $384,000 on revenues of $49.9 million in the same period last year.

Fort Dodge, IA-based Smithway said a shortage of drivers combined with weak freight demand in the Midwest -- particularly in steel and construction materials -- were the main reasons for those losses. Currently, 50 of its tractors are sitting idle without drivers, said Smithway.

For the first six months of 2002, Smithway lost $3.2 million on revenues of $85.6 million. That compares to losses of $1.7 million on revenues of $95.3 million in the first half of 2001.

Chairman, president & CEO William G. Smith said revenue for each tractor in use per week improved by 1.3% this quarter compared to the same period of 2001. Smithway had higher revenue per loaded mile in its van operation, but he said that was cancelled out by lower non-revenue miles in both the carrier’s flatbed and van operations.