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Truck Capacity Growth Expected to be Modest

A recent article from sites results from TCP’s Second Quarter Business Expectations Survey.

The survey revealed that, although 65% of carriers are planning to add capacity, those additions will most likely be conservative. More than 75% of carriers plan to add little (1% to 5%) or no capacity in the next 12 months.

“Carriers continue to voice concerns about the ‘headwinds’ impacting operations and returns,” stated TCP Partner, Richard Mikes.

The piece continues by referencing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and from the Department of Labor’s recent jobs report that mirrors trends in the trucking industry – slow, conservative growth, and cautious optimism.

Read the full article here.

Rates of Return Still a Concern for Trucking Industry

Results from TCP’s second quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey were highlighted in a recent article from

Truck capacity is tightening, but many carriers are still not earning a rate of return large enough to warrant an expansion of their fleets. Stagnant cargo volumes combined with higher operating and equipment costs will likely force carriers to hold back expansion efforts for the foreseeable future.

Read the full article here.

Possibility of a Capacity Shortfall Increasing

An article from reports that with rates still largely flat, much of the TL segment appears to be stalling on expanding capacity. However, a trucking capacity crunch could still be offset by capacity growth within the private fleet segment. The posting sites comments by TCP partner, Richard Mikes from his recent webinar hosted by Wall Street investment firm, Stifel Nicolaus. To read the full article, click here.

TCP survey says broker usage increases

FleetOwner shares results from Transport Capital Partners’ First Quarter Business Expectations Survey which found that broker usage amongst carriers has increased in recent months. The percentage of carriers using broker freight services increased from 16% in August 2012 to 25% in February of 2013.  TCP Partner Steven Dutro is quoted in the article: “Freight brokers continue to provide loads that improve asset utilization and efficiency as customer demand fluctuates.” Dutro also discusses how the increase in broker services is a reflection of the ebb and flow of seasonal freight. Read the full article.


Survey Finds Split Reaction to 2010 Engines

Transport Capital Partners’ First Quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey found split reactions to the fuel economy and maintenance costs of 2010 engines versus 2007 engines reports Over half of the carriers surveyed have seen fuel economy improve with 2010 engines, but 40% say that there has been no change. There was an even larger discrepancy between large carriers (over $25 million) and small carriers.

“Carriers differ in their measurement systems and tracking procedures, but the real story here is that very few carriers have seen a decline in fuel economy with the 2010 engines,” said Steven Dutro, TCP partner. “Most of the carriers we talk to have reported overall improvement in mpg in recent years from a combination of technology and training efforts.”

Read the full article.

Carriers shift toward electronic logs

FleetOwner reports on the findings from the first quarter 2013 Transport Capital Partners Business Expectations Survey that found that a growing number of carriers have made the switch to electronic logs (elogs). Thirty-five percent of the carriers surveyed are now using elogs and other carriers are strongly considering. The increase in the number of carriers using elogs may be due to a likely federal mandate. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has attempted to mandate the use of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) in the past, the implementation of new hours-of-service regulations in July might force a rule to finally pass. TCP Partners Steven Dutro and Richard Mikes were both quoted in the article. Read the full article.

The Second Quarter Business Expectations Survey will launch at the beginning of May. Interested carriers can sign up by clicking here.

Tonnage Up, Optimistic Capacity Expectations from Carriers reports on the results of the Transport Capital Partners Business Expectations Survey. The first quarter 2013 survey found that carriers are optimistic in their plans to increase capacity in the year ahead. Just over a third of carriers surveyed plan to add 5% or less in capacity, while 20% of carriers plan to increase by 6-10%.

The article also discusses the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for February. The report shows that tonnage has increased four months in a row – something that has not happened since late 2011.

Bob Costello, ATA chief economist, is also optimistic:

“Fitting with several other key economic indicators, truck tonnage is up earlier than we anticipated this year. While I think this is a good sign for the industry and the economy, I’m still concerned that freight tonnage will slow in the months ahead as the federal government sequester continues and households finish spending their tax returns. A little longer term, I think the economy and the industry are poised for a more robust recovery.”

If you are a carrier interested in participating in future surveys, please sign up for our industry releases.

To learn more about carriers’ expectations for capacity increases, read the full article.

Increasing Rates and Profits Likely, Say Analysts

According to multiple trucking industry researchers, economy conditions point towards an increase in rates and profitability. According to the Business Expectations Survey, conducted quarterly by consulting firm Transport Capital Partners, two-thirds of respondents are “optimistic” that volumes and rates will increase over the next year.

“With the present tight supply of trucks, an increase of just 1% to 2% over forecasted GDP growth could spike rates upwards at any time, which would help to cover costs,” noted TCP partner Richard Mikes.

On the other hand, TCP partner Steven Dutro suggested that the limited availability of drivers and impending HOS rules could damper the benefits of a slowly recovering economy.

Read the full article at

Natural gas engines starting to catch fire in the truck-fleet market

Natural gas engines, both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are gaining traction with carriers who are interested in “going green” and spending less on fuel. A recent article by Fleet Owner cites the findings from the 2012 survey on natural gas engines conducted by TCP and ACT Research. Over half of the carriers surveyed are considering at least some natural gas engines in their next purchase.  The article goes on to discuss many of the truck makers and engine builders who are meeting the demand for natural gas.

Want to learn more about the growing trend of natural gas engines? Click here to read the full article.


Sluggish Economy Continues to Weigh on Carriers

As reported by FleetOwner Magazine, a large number of trucking companies believe that freight volumes are likely to stay flat for the coming year. Carriers are split, on the other hand, as to whether rates will increase or stay the same, indicating uncertainty in the market. These findings come from the Fourth Quarter 2012 Business Expectations Survey, conducted quarterly by consulting firm Transport Capital Partners.

TCP Partner Richard Mikes notes, “Their volume and rate outlook does not bode well for cash flows and profits in 2013 for an industry under costs and availability pressure for drivers.”

TCP Parter Steven Dutro explains how this might effect wages: “Driver pay increases will be constrained by stagnant rates [so] it will be a tough balancing act for carriers to keep drivers.”

Read the full article here.