Fleet Management

1 in 5 Smaller Fleets Would Consider Leaving Industry if Tonnage Does Not Increase: TCP National Survey

November 02, 2011

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The recent Third Quarter 2011 Transport Capital Partners (TCP) Business Expectations Survey found that 15% of fleets are considering leaving the industry in the next six months if volumes do not increase.

Twenty percent of fleets under $25 million revenues and 11.8% of fleets over $25 million said they would give consideration to leaving, concludes TCP partner Richard Mikes of the recent survey results.

"Ironically even though smaller fleets are more optimistic about volumes over the next 12 months (54% vs. 38%), they still indicate that they are more serious about leaving the industry,'' he said.

According to TCP partner, Lana Batts, a dichotomy remains in our industry.

"Even with carriers seeing more freight volumes. They are still under cost pressure from most inputs (fuel, regulations, equipment, drivers). In essence, it just isn't any fun anymore," Batts noted.

On a more long term basis, the number of carriers thinking about selling in the next 18 months (compared to the next six months discussed above), rose slightly from 25% to 28%. This is the highest percentage of carriers that have been interested in selling long-term since TCP began the survey in Feb of 2009.

Almost 40% of the smaller carriers are giving consideration to leaving the industry in the next 18 months compared to only 23% of the larger carriers.

"The desire to leave the industry will significantly change the face of the industry as well as the business models that depend upon smaller carriers providing hard assets," said Batts.

"Taken in its entirety this third quarter survey shows a 'trend of caution' in the overall no-growth economy, and the impact of a surge of regulations on trucking is best summed up by the halving of the number of carriers expecting growth in the year ahead," observes Mikes.

TCP uses this quarterly survey along with partner conversations with carriers to provide a meaningful insight into future industry expectations.

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