Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trucking Industry Trends for 2011

Trucking industry trends for 2011 should be on the minds of every transportation manager. How should you strategize for this year? Will you have to pay much higher rates to get your goods moved? Will you be able to find trucks? How will CSA 2010 affect 2011?

These are all great questions. I ran across a survey put out by the Commercial Carrier Journal that questioned 41 commercial carriers on various topics concerning the "pulse" of the industry.

Here is what was found:

How Is Your Business Doing This Month Compared to the Same Month Last Year?

12.2% feel it is the same as last year; 63.4% of the companies feel that business is better and 17.1% feel it is much better

In the Next 6 Months, We Plan to:

* Increase the size of our fleet 56.1%
* Replace aging equipment 26.8%
* Make no change in fleet 17.1%

Top Concerns

* Freight pricing 36.6%
* Labor availability 20.0%
* Freight volume 17.1%
* Regulation 9.8%
* Energy Costs 7.3%
* Cash Flow 4.9%

Interesting Comments
I am cautiously optimistic that current freight demand will continue at least through half the year in 2011. Biggest concern I have is that diesel fuel costs could get back to the over $4.00 range and kill the economy again.

I hope shippers are prepared, with the price of oil, CSA, HOS......only the ones that pay a fair rate will get service because those elements will cause capacity issues in the second half of 2011......if we don't have a double dip which i think is still possible.

December was much better than expected. We are now in the traditional post holiday lull in January. Once we get past 1st Q, I expect this to be a pretty good year. We made great progress in 2010 in raising rates, but need to start all over again in 2011 as I anticipated rising costs in drivers pay, recruiting, fuel, and loss of productivity caused by Federal Regulations.

Turning down available freight because not enough drivers available. My recruiting dept. states that as long as they can get $500 per week unemployment..... that the drivers say they'll go hunting and fishing!