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Three-Year Trend of Lowered Volume, Rate Outlook Broken

Posted: August 1, 2014

WINDSOR, CO. — Feeling a little more positive about future rates and volume growth? You’re not alone, according to Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) second quarter Business Expectations Survey.

The survey found that 50 percent of both larger carriers and smaller carriers are expecting volumes to increase, results that finally break a three-year trend of lowered second quarter expectations.

However, 40 percent of smaller carriers surveyed expect volumes to drop this year, with 11 percent seeing volumes holding steady, TCP said. Only 3 percent of larger carriers are expecting volumes to decrease, with 40 percent projecting volumes will stay level.

Generally, TCP sees freight volumes fighting to grow. “As the economy waits to sort out the cross currents of macro events and the change in Federal Reserve policies,” said Richard Mikes, a TCP partner, “freight volumes struggle to grow significantly.”

Rates are staying level according to 80 percent of carriers surveyed, and 73 percent of carriers are projecting an increase by year’s end. “These positive expectations are shared by both large and small carriers,” TCP said.

Up by 11 percent from last quarter are carriers that have seen rates increase. Compared to a year ago, however, that number is down 45 percent. Interestingly, more smaller carriers than larger carriers have seen rates increase — 25 percent versus 14 percent of larger carriers.

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