With capacity tightening and rates increasing, confidence among truckers remains high.
Optimism for volume growth has risen steadily over the last six Transport Capital Partners surveys, says the analyst firm. Reflecting a better outlook for the economy at large, coupled with counter seasonal capacity shortages, more and more carriers expect volume increases over the next 12 months, the latest Q1 survey suggests.
“The literal mother of all rate increases may be here in 2014, as reflected in our first quarter survey,” observed Richard Mikes, survey leader and TCP partner.
The TCP survey echoes what OTA’s own 1Q business expectations survey also concluded earlier this month.
Rate expectations have moved almost in tandem with volume expectations, says TCP. Four out of five carriers expect rates to increase over the next 12 months, a 62% increase over last quarter.
“Historically, smaller carriers have been the more optimistic about rate increases,” states TCP Partner, Steven Dutro.
Meanwhile, almost 60% of carriers in this survey indicated their Daily Sales Outstanding (DSO) had not increased
TCP notes that spot market rates also surged over the last two months (as most annual and longer term contracts were negotiated).
The first and second quarter will likely see mid-single digit increases rather than the low single digit growth earlier sentiment by carriers of low single digits based on carrier comments.