Economy

Eight owner-operator takeaways from a trucking economist’s talk

Here are some points made by trucking economist John Larkin, plus Overdrive's take on how they could have some bearing on owner-operators, especially independents.

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State of freight: Market pressure on driver pay stalled?

Though recent years have shown better trends, with pay rising fairly sharply for company drivers and independents alike, there's evidence from carrier surveys that such increases have now lulled. Lower volume expectations indicate increases in driver pay could be limited in 2016.

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Framing the trucking labor situation: Shortage at what price?

“Labor shortage” can mean different things to different people, whether a supply/demand imbalance at "current market prices" or "at any price" -- the latter often well implied in driver shortage stories that suggest a disruption to the supply chain that consumers will see and feel.

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The driver shortage alarm

The disconnect between the money and the mantra: As trucking has trumpeted a driver shortage over most of the last 10 years driver pay hasn’t risen in a way that would reflect such a strong labor demand.

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Owner-operator 2016 business outlook trends pessimistic

Results of recent polling show a trend toward a pessimistic outlook following a 2015 that didn't exactly live up to expectations as they stood this time last year.

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POLL: What’s your business outlook for 2016?

Owner-operators, how do economic conditions and your opportunity for profit look from the driver's seat in your business? Will the coming year be better, about the same or worse than the one in the rear view?

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Probability of recession in 2016 small, say analysts

At once, some put the probability of a true recession by 2018 around 80 percent. "Go long with your shippers" to solidify relationships, panelists at Truckstop.com's user conference urge.

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Regulations to present challenge, opportunity in the new year

At Truckstop.com's first user conference in Dallas, company head Scott Moscrip expressed cautious optimism about the coming year and previewed new payment, rate, insurance and other products.

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Next recession could hit as early as late 2016, say analysts

FTR Associates' "state of freight" seminar/Q&A reflected readers' recent suggestions that owner-operators ought to start the belt-tightening now to prepare for a cyclical economic downturn -- starting as early as late 2016.

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Freight volumes: Up last week on the spot market in spite of falling economic conditions

All the same, economist Noel Perry of FTR and Truckstop.com sounded some sour notes on economic outlook in the weekly Trans4Cast newsletter on spot freight trends and more.

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