trucking companies

Even in the face of several poor economic signs, trucking company executives feel upbeat about 2016. They remain confident that it brings “solid growth” for their companies, a recent survey by Transport Capital Partners (TCP) found. When it comes to trucking companies hiring, the demand for drivers is definitely still there, too.

A Feb. 2 article about the survey in American Trucker Magazine cautioned.

However, that trucking executives, and those responsible for CDL driver jobs, have more tempered enthusiasm about their ability to attain rate increases in the coming months.

Trucking’s “expectations” regarding their ability to win rate increases dropped to the lowest levels in over five years, noted Steven Dutro, a TCP Partner, in the American Trucker article. “Expectations are lower than in recent years but are still positive for 2016,” he said. “The indication is for a stable business environment and little fear of a recession.”

Yet, attaining rate increases will be a challenge, Dutro emphasized.

“At the beginning of 2015, 79% of the participants in our survey were looking forward to rate increases over the year ahead,” he noted. “Turning the page into 2016, that number had dwindled to 41% – the lowest percentage we have recorded since 2009.”

That’s partly a result of slumping freight activity that began in the fourth quarter of 2015 and continues currently, American Trucker added.

The survey reflects more diverse opinions among individual carriers now than in years past.

Perhaps most telling of industry expectations for 2016, added TCP’s Dutro, is that a strong majority – some 61% of carriers – expect to expand their fleets this year. “Growth expectations are not quite as robust as they were in 2014 and 2015,” he stressed. “But, this number is still relatively consistent with the expectations – and the modest growth – of the past few years.”

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