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Significant Rise in Use of E-logs by Carriers

TruckNews.com has shared results from TCP’s First Quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey that display a sizable increase in the adoption of electronic driver logs (e-logs) by carriers. Canadian fleet management company, Shaw Tracking is pleased to see that the benefits of implementing e-log use are being recognized by more and more fleets owners and drivers. Full article here.

Richard Mikes Presenting Free Webinar on May 3

TCP Partner Richard Mikes will be presenting a webinar on Friday, May 3 at 11:00am EDT hosted by John Larkin, CFA – Transportation Analyst titled U.S. Truckload Fleet Status: TCP Survey 2013. 

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Discussion of the results of TCP’s latest industry wide survey of truckload management teams
  • Truckload industry supply and demand
  • Truckload pricing outlook
  • The impact that new/revised federal environmental, safety and security regulations will have on capacity
  • CSA compliance changes & costs
  • Electronic log use rates
  • New engine (2010) fleet experience
  • Time for Q&A will be allotted at the end

Dial-In Number(s)
888-267-2848 (Domestic)
973-413-6103 (International)
Passcode: 346981
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Replay
800-332-6854 (Domestic)
973-528-0005 (International)
Passcode: 346981

Questions? Contact Richard Mikes at rmikes@transportcap.com.

 

More fleets using elogs to lift CSA scores

More fleets are using electronic driver logs (elogs) to improve CSA scores, Transport Topics reports. The article highlights the results from Transport Capital Partners’ recent Business Expectations Survey that found 34.6% of carriers are using elogs on all of their trucks with an additional 68.1% either testing or using elogs on some of their trucks. TCP Partner Richard Mikes says that the federal Compliance, Safety Accountability ratings program is “one of the drivers” behind the increase in electronic log usage.

The article also discusses how elogs represent a “huge opportunity” for carriers to lower the CSA violations. Additionally, these on-board devices allow carriers to monitor speed and other measurable that help improve operations. Read the full article to learn more about the shift towards electronic logs and carriers concerns for CSA scores.

Are you the owner or executive of a trucking company who is interested in contributing to the next Business Expectations Survey? Click here to learn more.

Trucking Industry Battles over “Hours of Service” Reform

Australian Transport News reports on the ongoing battle in the US over “hours of service” HOS reform.  This battle over HOS reform has led to an increase in the use of electronic logs as TCP’s first quarter Business Expectations Survey recently found. Australia also struggles with heavy vehicle laws. Read the full article.

 

 

E-Logging, CSA Scores, and Capacity All on the Rise

Citing the Business Expectations Survey, conducted quarterly by Transport Capital Partners, Truckinginfo.com reports that carriers are increasingly installing e-log systems on their fleets. The survey shows that 35% of carriers have implemented e-logging systems on their entire fleet. Just 10% of survey responders report that they have yet to begin implementation.

Another trend from the survey indicates that carriers are making efforts to improve CSA scores, but not without expense. “The cost of compliance, along with decreasing productivity, the corresponding decrease in driver earnings, and the planned tightening of hours-of-service rules are part of the regulatory burden which has both directly and indirectly impacted carriers,” said TCP partner Richard Mikes.

Read the full article at Truckinginfo.com.

Reflections from the Stifel Transportation Conference 2013

Richard Mikes of Transport Capital Partners (TCP) recently attended the Annual Stifel Transportation and Logistics Conference held in Key Biscayne, Florida, chaired by John G. Larkin, Managing Director at Stifel. About 40 publicly-held transportation and logistics companies were in attendance, presenting information on their firms and trends affecting the industry to a larger than last year investor group. Here are his observations from the conference.

 Truckload Carriers Volumes

The general consensus among the presenting carriers is that volumes began flattening in the last half of 2012 and have not recovered in the seasonally slow first quarter. Retailers remain cautious and inventories are managed tightly. The uncertain economic recovery makes future volumes hard to predict. However, there are bright spots in ag equipment, energy exploration and chemicals with construction showing some life. Dry van business remains slow with the seasonal restocking from clothes to turf supplies/equipment and summer recreational merchandise about to begin.

Efficiency and New Strategies

Companies emphasized ongoing and new initiatives in most areas of operations. Most publicly held truckload carriers are no longer “just truckers” but also offering logistics, transportation management, dedicated carriage, 3PL initiatives, and intermodal options.

Focus included reducing costs, enhancing efficiencies, aerodynamics for equipment, and watching natural gas as a potential game changer. Deeper customer interfaces with cross-selling of the increasingly broader array of services were highlighted by many. Collaborative activities with shippers are gaining efficiencies and other mutual benefits.

Equipment Purchases Cautious by Public Carriers

Publicly held carriers in aggregate have reduced their tractor fleet 20% from pre-recession peak levels and are not gaining tractor count, which is in line with TCP quarterly surveys of both private and public firms showing little fleet addition or interest in expansion. While investors favor “asset light” models, discussions of “someone must own assets” were common.  Small fleets, 6 trucks or less, account for 88% of the carriers. Smaller fleets are pressured by aging tractors and tight credit. New tractors have improved miles per gallon (mpg), but at a high capital cost with used trade-in prices flat for the past year.

Rates

Generally, carriers anticipate single digit increases for rates assuming stable capacity and loads “in balance”. However, we may be subject to a freight spike environment pushing them upward. A shipper panel declined to provide much information on rates. The uncertain economy remains the gorilla in the room as an uptick of 3 to 5% in GDP growth will push higher rates.

Drivers the Constraint?

Carriers mentioned driver staffing issues are becoming more critical for the variety of reasons (demographics, lifestyle, wages, and HOS/CSA regs), and are directly now impacting carrier capacity along with a stable fleet base. Driver wages must, and will, increase, but the only question is timing. If construction ramps up this could be sooner rather than later.

Brokers and 3PL Providers

Volumes have recovered and general outlook is for a slow growth environment. The focus appears to be on small to mid-size shippers along with broadening international exposure and competition. Growth rates of 3PL’s were reported at 11.6% over the past 15 years in North America contrasted with 30% in South America and 15% in Asia Pacific markets. Over the same time dedicated carriage grew 7.5% in the US.

 

Have questions?  Contact Richard Mikes at  239-395-2595 or RMikes@TransportCap.com for more information or to learn more about the Stifel Transportation Conference 2013.

Interested in learning what other carriers are expecting in the coming months?

Click here to participate in TCP’s First Quarter Business Expectations Survey. 

Carriers Holding Steady in Flat Economy

From a November 11 article from BigTruckTV, slow growth in the US economy matches the trend in the trucking industry. According to TCP Partner Richard Mikes, “Carriers are not adding capacity as the economy remains relatively flat, used equipment prices go up and conservative equipment plans boost used demand.”

For TCP Partner Lana Batts, “Long term demographics still portend a shrinking driver pool, and current CSA and HOS regulations remove drivers and shorten effective hours (and pay checks) for existing drivers. Some runs that were doable in a day are requiring a sleep break.”

BES Survey Points to Limited Growth in Capacity

As reported on Refrigerated Transporter, carriers are not likely to add much capacity in the coming year. According to the quarterly Business Expectations Survey from Transport Capital Partners, the number of carriers expecting to add little or no capacity has remained between 70% and 74% for the past five quarters. TCP Partner Lana Batts cites driver shortages, coupled with CSA and HOS regulations, as having a diminishing effect on equipment purchases.

Shippers Also Worried about CSA Scores

Steelhead Finance reports on the TCP’s recent industry survey that found that shippers are also worried about the CSA scores of carriers. Over 72% of surveyed carriers say that some of their customers are concerned about CSA scores. For more information on carriers future expectations for CSA scores, read the full article here.

Shippers Starting to Pay More Attention to CSA Scores

A recent article by Transport Topics highlights that shippers are starting to pay more attention to the CSA scores of carriers. More than 72% of surveyed carriers state that some of their customers are concerned about CSA scores, and might even fire a carrier with low CSA scores. The article also discusses CSA’s approach to whose accountable for accidents as well the disparity in use of elogs between large and small carriers. Click here to download the article.