Trucking Prices Expected To Rise In 2017
Michael White, Maersk Line’s President for North America said, “It relies on how the volumes come back after the Chinese New Year. There’s potential for increased pressure in the second half of the year.” Trucking, railway, air, and ocean shipping companies generally agree that a slow and steady rise is preferable over a sharp increase that sends them scrambling for supplies and drivers. Rising truck prices could start to place pressure on the capacities of other modes of transport, namely railway.
Ocean freight, truck and rail carriers alike usually are not seeking to be hindered by increasing demand as they have been in the past. They’re keeping a detailed eye and managing tonnage using strict guidelines so that they’re going to be better able to maintain flexibility because the demand rises and falls. This, however, could lead to volatile pricing as seemingly minor fluctuations in demand affect costs.
Trucking companies are preparing for the future by investing in new trucks to replace their old ones and looking for higher quality drivers. A driver shortage could also be sooner or later, but they don’t want to hire drivers which have bounced around from company to company, leaving a trail of failure and disappointment in their wake. Trucking companies are doing what ocean shipping companies have modeled and tightening up on procedures. They may be buying new trucks to replace old ones, but they are not necessarily investing in additional trucks than that they had before.
Christopher Lofgren, President/CEO of Schneider National explains that, “There’s a discipline coming into the industry that claims, ‘You cannot build the church for Easter Sunday’. How we think about pricing goes to have to alter. We have probably got yet one more cycle of pain to go through before we realize we’ve got to move out of this very schizophrenic relationship we’re in.”
Truck, rail, air, and ocean shipping companies are all hoping to get out from under the burden of volatility that the wavering demand puts on them. Ocean freight, truck freight, and all other modes of transport are becoming more aware of the long-term management benefits of balancing their operations to make sure profits without rocking that pricing boat too hard.
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