TCP Survey: Carriers see opportunities for volumes, rates in 2012

Carriers are optimistic for the year ahead, with 61 percent expecting volumes to increase in 2012, and only 7 percent expecting volumes to decrease, according to the TCP (Transport Capital Partners) 4th Quarter 2011 Business Expectations Survey. Carriers responded similarly. “Carriers shared a higher level of confidence despite the roller coaster ride reflected in stock market over the last quarter”.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]The survey volume outlook correlated with the majority of carriers reporting freight rates moving up over the last three months as well. “Freight rates in the spot market are generally upward according to many sources as capacity remains flat and volumes are pushing upward in the industry,” said Lana Batts, TCP partner.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]The brightest light in the survey was that almost three-fourths of the carriers expect rates to increase in 2012. “Most economists are seeing growth in the economy, albeit it still slow. This is pushing more freight on to a very limited truck base, with shippers and brokers scrambling for trucks as carriers phones ‘ring off the wall,” Mikes said.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]Carriers are cautious however about adding trucks according to other parts of the survey yet to be fully analyzed. Batts points out that “The industry cut 15-20 percent of their capacity by not buying new trucks, and most carriers and dealers are telling us that the new surge in orders is primarily to replace the aging national fleet, not to add more capacity.”[/box]