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Rand Logistics, Inc. (RLOG) Stands Alone as Only Carrier Offering Domestic Port-to-Port Services on the Great Lakes in both Canada and the U.S.

Rand Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of bulk freight shipping services throughout the Great Lakes region. Through its subsidiaries, the company operates a fleet of four conventional bulk carriers and 11 self-unloading bulk carriers – including three integrated tug/barge units. Despite the growing national and international presence of logistics giants such as Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) and FedEx (NYSE: FDX), Rand has established a viable presence in the shipping industry as the only carrier able to offer significant domestic port-to-port services in both Canada and the United States on the Great Lakes. As a result, the company has built a strong client list that includes global brands such as Koch Industries, Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) and Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KHC).

In recent months, Rand has successfully leveraged its strategic presence in the logistics market in order to achieve strong financial growth. During its fiscal quarter ended June 30, the company reported net income of $2.6 million, realizing a year-over-year increase of 47.6 percent. This performance was attributable to a collection of factors – including a 19 percent increase in tonnage carried over the previous year, a 5.2 percent decrease in vessel operating expenses related to a reduction in fuel costs and an overall increase in total sailing days.

“We were generally pleased with our first quarter results,” Ed Levy, president and chief executive officer of Rand, stated in a news release. “Business conditions for the primary commodities that we carry remain satisfactory, particularly in the river class market where we compete.”

Building on these results, Rand plans to introduce its newest vessel into service during the fourth quarter of this calendar year. This new vessel will carry the tonnage currently being handled by a chartered third-party vessel, providing the company with an opportunity to achieve levels of profitability that greatly exceed its current benchmarks.

“We remain focused on developing and executing initiatives to improve our return on invested capital,” continued Levy. “Specifically these initiatives are intended to drive operational excellence, leverage our market position, capture cost savings opportunities and improve the efficiency of our capital spending.”

According to a report by market research firm Kentley Insights, the coastal and Great Lakes freight transportation industry in the United States accounted for approximately $7.5 billion in total sales in 2011, and the industry has achieved an annual growth rate of 6.8 percent in recent years. For prospective shareholders, this favorable market performance is expected to provide Rand with a strong platform upon which to promote sustainable growth. Look for the company to lean on the experience of its management team in order to capitalize on this opportunity moving forward.

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