Fleet Management

GE Survey Shows Transportation CFOs Largely Upbeat

November 01, 2011

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This fall, GE Capital released its U.S. Mid-Market CFO Survey, which polled chief financial officers across seven different industries, including trucking companies. The data is encouraging, despite concerns about costs and regulations.

Seventy percent of all goods shipped in the United States are moved by truck. As a result, the health of the trucking industry, with annual revenues of $650 billion, or 4.4% of the U.S. GDP, is one of the leading domestic economic indicators.

While economic conditions remain anything but rosy, the survey showed that transportation CFOs remain one of the more optimistic groups of CFOs with regard to the state of their industry, with 71% of those responding saying they believe that business conditions will improve in 2011 versus 2010.

Carriers surveyed were universally positive about their revenue drivers with 88% of carriers expecting increases in average per tractor revenue and 84% anticipating increases in average revenue per loaded mile as a direct result of tightening capacity and increasing utilization. In addition, carriers believe a larger percentage of their revenue improvements will come from increased rates rather than increased volumes.

Among the survey's findings:

- 48% of carriers anticipate a decrease in competition.

- 49% of carriers expect their average fleet age to decline in 2011 as a result of replacing aging equipment.

- 51% of carriers state they will expand their company sleeper-cab fleets in 2011, while only 25% have plans to expand their day-cab fleets. 55% anticipate expanding their trailer fleets.

- Even though carriers maintain a tremendously positive outlook on business conditions and revenues, 57% of carriers believe that their operating ratio will increase.

Despite the modestly optimistic outlook going forward, there remain perennial sources of concern. The CFOs surveyed their top three concerns in 2011 are:

- safety and truck accidents: 84%

- fuel price volatility: 78%

- retention and recruitment of quality drivers 76%

To read an executive summary of the report, click here.

To read the entire report, check out the article at GE Reports.

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