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Carriers Finding Re-Negotiation of Accessorials Challenging shared TCP survey results (from the 4th Quarter BES) that show 42% of carriers expecting their customers to resist re-negotiating accessorials.

Fifty percent of smaller carriers and 38 percent of larger carriers expressed pessimistism about accessorials. However, carriers small and large were more positive about re-negotiating detention times – 43 percent expected to re-negotiate.

“Credit availability and carrier profitability go hand–in-hand, both are essential to replace aging fleet assets and to grow capacity. Carriers with stronger profitability and cash flows will find credit available and affordable and will be better positioned to gain market share,” said Steven Dutro, TCP Partner.

Full article here.

Do Shippers Care About CSA Scores? cites the recent TCP survey to suggest, “not really.”

The number of shippers unconcerned by carrier CSA scores rose from 15% to 22% this quarter. Only 16% of shippers are reportedly concerned.

“We are at a loss to explain the increase in shippers not concerned. One possible explanation is that shippers simply do not use CSA scores as a determinant in choosing a carrier,” said Richard Mikes, TCP Partner.

It is likely that many shippers still do not believe CSA scores are an accurate reflection of carrier safety.

Read the full Today’s Trucking article here.

Carriers Upbeat on Volume and Rate Growth

Today’s Trucking shares data from the TCP third quarter industry survey in their recent article. The survey reveals more U.S. carriers expecting to see volumes and rates grow over the coming months.

“The stronger than expected volumes of the last few months are being reported by some carriers as boding well for the fourth quarter,” according to TCP partners.

However, the article also suggests that the “proof will be in the pudding.” The economic recovery and future projections are still modest. Thus, carriers are not yet seeing their optimism on volumes and rates reflected in actual rate growth.

TCP Partner, Richard Mikes, notes, “Underlying cost rate pressure is ongoing – from new truck costs and maintenance inflation to pinched driver efficiency, from HOS changes and inadequate carrier returns.”

Read the article here.

New Fleet Investments Unlikely for Many Carriers

Recent articles from and report that inadequate rates of return are keeping fleets from buying.

They share results from the second quarter TCP industry survey that show only slightly over 50 percent of carriers seeing returns on investments that can justify new equipment purchases. This figure is up just four percentage points from November 2012.

Additionally, one-third of all carriers reported having no current plans to add any new equipment. At this time, replacing aging fleets is the principle driver of most equipment investment.

“Higher equipment costs in recent years, combined with the lower utilization resulting from new HOS rules, will continue to make adequate returns on investment a challenge,” said Steven Dutro, TCP partner.

Read the complete articles here and here.

Three-Year Trend of Lowered Volume Expectations Ends

Today’s Trucking references data from the 2nd quarter TCP Business Expectations Survey to suggest a more positive direction for the industry. In this survey, half of all carriers reported that they expect volumes to increase. These results finally break a three-year trend of lowered second quarter outlooks. Read the full article here.

Trucking Industry Aims for a Younger Workforce

Today’s Trucking reports that carriers are willing to hire younger employees to drive their fleets. According to the recent TCP Business Expectations Survey, 80% of those surveyed would consider hiring younger workers, provided that they had proper credentials. Currently only about 30% of carriers hire entry-level drivers.

Such a change is a result of a chronic driver shortage. Accord to TCP Partner Richard Mikes,“Everyone in the supply chain needs to recognize the critical need to pay a little more to keep quality drivers moving the freight.”

Read the full article here.

Carriers Expecting an Increase in Driver Wages Over the Next Year

Carriers are expecting an increase in driver wages over the next year, but a majority of carriers expect the increase to be less than 5% reports Today’s Trucking. This slight increase, however, will not be enough to attract news drivers to a career in trucking, says TCP Partner Lana Batts, in conversations about the data from TCP’s second quarter Business Expectations Survey. Read more here.

Carriers Are Still Hesitant to Add Capacity

Carriers are still hesitant to add capacity reports Today’s Trucking. Results from TCP’s second quarter Business Expectations Survey show the 71% of carriers expect to add little or no capacity in the coming year. Mikes, TCP Partner, states that this is due to an increase in regulation and the challenges of finding qualified drivers. Read more about the survey results here.

Carriers Investing More in CSA

A recent article by Today’s Trucking states that according to results from TCP’s First Quarter Business Expectations Survey, carriers are investing in CSA through a variety of methods including training for drivers, changing how sub-performing driving is monitored, and investing in technology. Both Lana Batts and Jim Parham are quoted. To read more about the changes carriers are making to comply with CSA regulations, read the full article

Carriers Inclined to Add Capacity, But Not by Much

According to an article by Today’s Trucking, carriers are more inclined to add capacity but not by much. For carriers who are planning on adding capacity, it is primarily through company equipment either financed (24.6%), leased (9.6%), or with cash (7%) with fewer choosing independent contractors (19.3%) during the past seven quarters. To read more about carriers’ expectations for capacity, click here.