Latest Industry News Courtesy of PMTA
Truckstop and Bloomberg Intelligence Survey Shows Higher Contract Rates Surpass Lower Demand for Brokers
BOISE, ID… Earnings expectations for freight brokers may move higher according to the latest Bloomberg | Truckstop survey, which polled brokerage and truckload companies.
"Freight brokers are well-positioned to deliver wider gross margins for the rest of 2022, given their outlook for flat or down spot rates coupled with higher contractual rates," said Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. "Expanding margins could help mitigate lower volume from difficult comparisons and moderating economic activity."
The Bloomberg | Truckstop Truckload 1H-22 survey shows Broker sentiment hits a new low:
* Fewer brokers experience volume growth: About 47% of survey respondents said volume rose in 1H from a year earlier. About 45% of those surveyed expect demand growth over the next six months, vs. 76% in 2H21.
* Flat spot rates may provide margin stability: The majority of brokers (52%) expect spot rates to remain flat or move down over the next six months. About 48% of brokers expect spot rates to rise over the next 3-6 months, below the previous read of 62% in 2H21.
* Contract rate sentiment is still strong but moderating: About 36% of brokers polled expect to see contract rates go up, 20 percentage points below the last polling in 2H21.
* Brokers' gross margin poised to expand in 2H: About 45% of freight-broker respondents had a higher gross margin in 1H than a year earlier. Brokers are more optimistic about gross-margin expansion over the next six months, with 54% expecting widening.
* Rates for brokers catching up with spot surge: Though less-than-truckload freight appears to be an area of growth for brokers, as about 34% expect to tender more of it in 2022, this is down from the previous survey results of 47%.
* Tighter capacity may be on the horizon: About 38% of those surveyed said they expect more available loads than trucks, indicating tighter conditions. That compares with 66% in the previous survey given the change in spot-market supply dynamics. About 44% of non-asset brokers said they believe tighter conditions are on the horizon, followed by broker agents (40%) and asset-based brokers (31%).
"Stable spot rates, coupled with rising contractual rates, will help drive gross-margin expansion for brokers," said Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer, Truckstop. "The mission-critical software solutions we provide brokers help ensure they stay competitive in the market and continue to drive growth, even in a market that is normalizing."
The Bloomberg | Truckstop survey of freight brokers provides timely channel checks into the market's health. The most recent sample size was 103, consisting of freight forwarders, third-party logistics providers and broker agents, as well as asset- and non-asset-based brokers. Most respondents (80%) have 1-50 employees. The majority of those surveyed (38%) were non-asset-based brokers.
The complete survey is available to Bloomberg Terminal subscribers via BI.
To learn how Truckstop is helping move the freight community forward, visit www.truckstop.com.
ATA Cheers Federal Court Decision Blocking Discriminatory Rhode Island Toll Scheme
Washington , DC… THE American Trucking Associations hailed a decision by the U.S. District Court ruling Rhode Island’s predatory truck-only tolling plan RhodeWorks unconstitutional.
“We told Rhode Island’s leaders from the start that their crazy scheme was not only discriminatory, but illegal,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We’re pleased the court agreed. To any state looking to target our industry, you better bring your A-game… because we’re not rolling over.”
ATA, along with Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services Inc. and New England Motor Freight, sued Rhode Island, arguing that the RhodeWorks plan violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state economic interests in order to favor in-state interests, and by designing the tolls in a way that does not fairly approximate motorists’ use of the roads.
“It has been a long road to get to this point,” said Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell, “but this is a tremendous day for our industry – not just here in Rhode Island, but across the country – had we not prevailed, these tolls would have spread across the country and this ruling sends a strong signal to other states that trucking is not to be targeted as a piggy bank.”
“This is a strong ruling that provides our industry a significant win on a critical issue,” said ATA General Counsel Rich Pianka. “This ruling vindicates ATA’s contention that the Constitution prohibits states from tolling schemes targeted at the trucking industry, at the expense of interstate commerce.
CTA Asks U.S. Officials to Remove Border Vaccine Mandate, Asks Governors to Support Call to Action
TORONTO, CANADA… The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is calling on the U.S. government to remove all U.S. COVID-19 entry requirements impacting non-U.S. citizens, including the Canadian trucking sector, by aligning with the Government of Canada to ensure border stability and support the Canada-U.S. supply chain and businesses on both sides of the border.
In a joint letter with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), both trucking groups urged that officials in Washington announce reciprocal changes while highlighting that truck drivers have remain essential workers and were permitted to cross the Canada-U.S. border during the first part of the pandemic, delivering much needed products to both countries.
The joint correspondence also outlined that trucking companies would benefit from the removal of the U.S. border vaccination policy through a significant increase to their cross-border driver pools, and an improved ability to deliver U.S. exports to the benefit of U.S. businesses and commerce.
These facts were further reinforced to the Council of Governors and National Governors Association (NGA), with CTA asking these groups to support and echo CTA’s request to Washington to remove the U.S. border mandate to the benefit of the cross-border supply chain and economy.
With Canada being the number one export market for most U.S. states, and with most Canada-U.S. trade moving by truck, CTA reiterated that the reciprocity of these changes would add considerable freight capacity and allow the trucking sector to better service the constituents and businesses within many states these governors represent.
CTA will continue to work closely with ATA and engage with U.S. officials on this issue. The Alliance will reach out to members as soon as possible when any changes are announced.
Carriers and Professional Drivers Needed to Help Move the Mission in 2022 Join the Honor Fleet Today and Haul a Load of Veterans’ Wreaths
COLUMBIA FALLS, ME… Lanes are currently open across the country to support the delivery of sponsored veterans’ wreaths to participating Wreaths Across America (WAA) locations this December! Professional drivers and carriers are needed to join the Honor Fleet and help the national nonprofit fulfill its mission to Remember, Honor, Teach, with the delivery of live, balsam veterans’ wreaths to their destination – one of more than 3,500 participating locations across the country – where volunteers will place these wreaths on the headstones of American heroes.
To learn more about helping to move the mission and to register to participate, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/lanes.
This year, WAA transportation partners will assist in delivering more than two and a half million veterans’ wreaths to be placed on graves of our fallen heroes all over the country on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, December 17, 2022. Transportation partners who join us as volunteers will become a part of WAA’s Honor Fleet, get the opportunity to give back in recognition of the sacrifice our veterans make.
“With the help of our volunteer transportation partners in 2021 more than 525 truckloads of veterans’ wreaths were delivered across the country by hundreds of volunteer professional truck drivers,” said Don Queeney, WAA Director of Transportation. “We are immensely grateful for the support of our Honor Fleet carriers who are taking the opportunity to give back in recognition of the sacrifice our veterans make, and because of their support we are able to fulfill our mission.”
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
For more information or to sponsor a wreath please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
ATA Truck Tonnage Index Increased 2.8% in August - Index 7.4% Above August 2021
Washington, DC… American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 2.8% in August after decreasing 1.5% in July. In August, the index equaled 119 (2015=100) versus 115.8 in July.
“Tonnage snapped back in August after a weaker than expected July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “With the economy in transition to slower growth and changing consumer patterns, we may see more volatility in the months ahead. But the good news is that we continue to witness areas of freight growth in consumer spending and manufacturing, which is helping to offset the weakness in new home construction.”
July’s decrease was revised down from our August 23 press release.
Compared with August 2021, the SA index increased 7.4%, which was the twelfth straight year-over-year gain and the largest increase since June 2018. In July, the index was up 4.7% from a year earlier. Year-to-date through August, compared with the same period in 2021, tonnage was up 3.9%.
The not seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 124.6 in August, 8.2% above the July level (115.1). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index is dominated by contract freight as opposed to spot market freight.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 72.5% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.23 billion tons of freight in 2020. Motor carriers collected $732.3 billion, or 80.4% of total revenue earned by all transport modes.
ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and subject to change in the final report issued around the 5th day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons, and key financial indicators.
ATA Hails Hutcheson’s Confirmation as FMCSA Administrator
Washington, DC… The American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear applauded Robin Hutcheson on her confirmation as the seventh Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“I want to congratulate Robin on her confirmation to this important role,” Spear said. “In her time as Acting Administrator, Robin has been a true partner with our industry – working to confront a number of issues facing trucking.
“Whether it is addressing safety concerns, ongoing supply chain issues or workforce development, she has been open to engaging with our industry and we look forward to continuing our ongoing, candid dialogue about these challenges and to engaging with her and her agency to implement solutions that uphold safety and improve efficiency in trucking and across the supply chain.”
ATA Cheers USDOT Commitment to Expanding Truck Parking Capacity Nationwide
Washington, DC… The American Trucking Associations thanked the U.S. Department of Transportation for its commitment to expanding the nation’s truck parking capacity.
In a letter to ATA President and CEO Chris Spear, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pledged the Administration’s support for increasing the availability of safe parking options for America’s professional truck drivers through its Trucking Action Plan, grant funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and increased coordination with state departments of transportation and the trucking industry.
“We thank Secretary Buttigieg and the Administration for their ongoing commitment to America’s professional truck drivers. The Secretary has stated how important the issue of truck parking is to him and his department, and we are extremely grateful that he is delivering on that intention,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This issue is imperative for both highway safety and supply chain efficiency, and we look forward to continued partnership with USDOT as it works to ensure IIJA funds continue flowing toward this urgent need.”
ATA President and CEO Chris Spear recently wrote to the Secretary urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to prioritize this issue, which affects highway safety, driver wellbeing, productivity, and the environment. A USDOT report found 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking. Studies by the American Transportation Research Institute have found that drivers surrender an average of 56 minutes of valuable drive time per day to find parking, directly costing them about $5,500 in lost compensation — or a 12% cut in annual pay.
In recent days, Florida and Tennessee were awarded a combined $37,600,000 in INFRA grant funding by USDOT to expand truck parking capacity.
“This issue is of particular importance for women drivers, who repeatedly cite the lack of safe parking options as a deterrent to more women entering the field,” Spear said. “Investing in these projects and ensuring all drivers have ready access to safe and well-lit parking facilities is an important step in shifting our industry’s workforce demographics and empowering more women across the country to pursue the rewarding career opportunities that trucking has to offer.”