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John Larkin Releases Views Of Truckload Carriers

Wednesday April 14, 2010

As the First Quarter of 2010 came to a close, John Larkin, CFA Managing Director, Stifel Nicolaus Transportation & Logistics Research Group surveyed approximately 25 of the largest truckload carriers in an Internet-based survey to test our view of the current trucking environment. The following bullets represent our key takeaways from the results:

Most truckload carriers surveyed have seen volume improvement in 2010 that has been at least slightly better than the typical pattern of seasonal volume improvement.

Carriers voiced mixed opinions on whether the recent improvement in volume will prove to be sustainable. On average, the carriers we surveyed anticipate that volumes will continue to recover, but anticipate that the pace of the volume recovery will moderate.

Roughly half the carriers surveyed have seen a surge in capacity reduction. Most carriers claimed to have experienced at least some capacity tightness in 2010; however, most carriers citing tight capacity have experienced it in certain locations/lanes, rather than across the board. Most carriers surveyed do not plan to add tractors to their fleet in 2010.

Most carriers expect higher rates in 2010, but the most concrete evidence of rate increases is present for spot pricing only. In the past several months, more than half the carriers surveyed have experienced adverse adjustments to fuel surcharge recovery mechanisms and/or shipper payment terms.


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