Today's Trucking

Video: 2020 economic outlook for fleets and shippers

October 21, 2019 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — The economic pendulum has swung when it comes to setting trucking rates. Carriers are giving up some of the gains secured last year, particularly in the spot market. But other factors will continue to place pressure on rates in the year to come. Here were some of the related insights shared during the Surface Transportation Summit’s presentation on the 2020 economic outlook.


Industry bullish on economy: survey

October 17, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Canada’s trucking industry appears to be bullish about the state of the economy this year, findings of the monthly Today’s Trucking Pulse Survey show. Still, people remain aware about potential threats. The driver shortage was cited by […]


Driver shortage is (economic) drag

October 10, 2018 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – When Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski took his turn at the mic during the annual Surface Transportation Summit, he was quick to refer to trucks parked against fences along nearby Dixie Road. They’re not idled because of a lack of business opportunities, he stressed. It’s because of a lack of truck drivers.


Shippers prepared for tropical storm, not ‘perfect storm’

September 12, 2018 by John Smith

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Heading into 2018, Bruce Ridley, the vice-president of Packaging Corp. of America in charge of transportation, said the company was prepared for a tropical storm — but not the perfect storm that struck. “I think most of […]


Can the hot trucking market continue?

May 18, 2018 by John Smith

NEWPORT, R.I. – It is a good time to be in trucking in the U.S. The economy is strong, freight needs to move, and rates are on the rise. Eric Starks, the chairman and CEO of FTR, pointed to several indicators during a business symposium for Volvo dealers and customers. The ATA Tonnage Index and FTR Loadings Index, which track absolute freight levels, are both trending upward. The flatbed market in particular has been going “crazy”, in part because of increasing demand to move pipe and fracking sand, the latter of which is moved in boxes, he said. “It’s eating up a huge amount of capacity.” Everything from consumer spending to home sales are adding to the demand.


Everything is negotiable in ELD era

April 10, 2018 Mike McCarron

For years, I’ve been chuckling under my breath at transportation conferences whenever I hear shippers speak about how important it is to be “good business partners” with their carriers. Experience has shown me that once they walk off the stage, their actions tell another story. The “win-win” rhetoric gives way to “we win, you lose” when it comes time to work on a contract. That’s starting to change.


The Leverage Lottery: The capacity crunch opens opportunities

March 8, 2018 Mike McCarron

Over the decades I’ve seen capacity ebb and flow, but nothing compares to January when millions of truck miles just evaporated into thin air. Sure, the goofy weather and booming economy contributed to the capacity crunch. But ELDs were the main […]


Ground transportation costs down in October

January 4, 2018 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Canadian shippers saw the cost of ground transportation drop by 1% in October when compared to September, according to the Canadian General Freight Index compiled by Nulogx.


Freight volumes, rates to rise in ’18: Analysts

October 12, 2017 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, ON – The coming year appears to hold the promise of a growing economy, tighter capacity, and ultimately higher rates for those who haul freight.
“When you have the economy doing reasonably well, transportation tends to be generally picking up,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist – Scotiabank, in a presentation during the Surface Transportation Summit in Mississauga, Ontario. He projects economic growth of about 2% in 2018, compared to the 3% seen in 2017.
“The Canadian economy recently has been very strong,” agreed Walter Spracklin, equity research analyst – transportation sector at RBC Capital Markets.
But where railways have enjoyed higher volumes against the backdrop of recent growth, trucks didn’t fare quite as well. Railway volumes surged in part because of the demand for fracking sand, feeding into the 6.5% boost in overall freight that moved over iron highways, he said. Intermodal freight volumes are growing as well, although grain volumes are likely to drop when compared to the strong crops of 2016. Of the Canadian railways, CN is seeing capacity tighten, leading to congestion challenges and a projected boost in capital spending.


Titanium continues acquisition hunt

August 11, 2017 by John Smith

BOLTON, ON – Titanium Transportation Group continues its search for companies to acquire, focusing mainly on Ontario-based truckload fleets with cross-border van or flatbed business.


Volumes growing, rates stagnant: FTR

April 10, 2017 by John Smith

BLOOMINGTON, IN – Analysts at FTR are predicting U.S. freight volumes will grow this year, but say rates will likely be stagnant for at least six months.


Few trucking concerns around I-85 collapse: DAT

April 6, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Crews are working to reopen I-85 in Atlanta by June 15, following a massive bridge fire that was once expected to close the route for several months. But DAT Solutions doesn’t expect the structure’s collapse to affect the trucking industry that much anyway.


U.S. rates steady despite volume increases: DAT

March 29, 2017 by John Smith

BEAVERTON, OR – While U.S. truck volumes increased in many van lanes last week, rates are holding steady because of available capacity, DAT RateView reports in its latest findings. Combined with lower fuel surcharges, van and reefer rates actually dipped a penny a mile. Average flatbed rates rose a mere cent on their own.


Capacity is tight, but rates will rise: FTR

March 28, 2017 by John Smith

BLOOMINGTON, IN – Analysts at FTR are reporting a tighter freight capacity for shippers this year, but believe that “regulatory drag” will likely be slowed under the Trump Administration and a Republican-controlled US Congress.


Truck numbers bottoming out, but has the economy?

October 3, 2016 by John Smith

LAS VEGAS, NV – Several indicators suggest that the U.S. trucking industry is approaching the end of an economic downturn. But broader economic growth is still being slowed by uncertainty around the U.S. election — and the global rise in populism, nationalism and isolationism, a leading U.S. economist says.