Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

A possible windfall for independents

| May 25, 2011

What’s freight demand going to be like the rest of this year? One analyst, Noel Perry of the consulting firm FTR Associates, thinks it’s going to surge before the year’s out. It could put owner-operators with their own authority in a sweet spot.

Perry was among speakers at this week’s CCJ Spring Symposium 2011 in Birmingham, Ala., put on by Overdrive’s sister publication Commercial Carrier Journal.

“Every recovery is uneven,” Perry said of current economic uncertainties. In recent months, the tsunami in Japan disrupted some manufacturing lines, unrest in the Middle East drove up oil prices, and housing continues to lag far behind a strong manufacturing sector.  Nevertheless, “There will be an offset to this slowdown. It will probably happen in the fall.”

Trucking companies tend to be a little shy about raising prices when market conditions dictate that they should go up, as well could happen this year, Perry said. Managing pricing will be a major challenge for carriers now and in the next few years, as tough regulatory changes and other factors make the driver shortage more severe. He recommended being prepared to take advantage of the rebound this fall, as well as beyond, until the next recession.

If you’re independent, there could be some real opportunities if your bigger competitors don’t have the capacity – the trucks and drivers – to handle what could be a big influx of freight. Be ready to work, and stay current with pricing so you don’t leave money on the table.

Torque It Up – 1850 lb-ft Now Available In ISX15 400-475 HP Ratings

Notice: Overdrive is transitioning to a new comment platform due to technical problems with the former commenting system. The new commenting system is now live. We are currently in the process of moving all of the comments from the old system into the new system. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.