(April 23, 2012) – More carriers are adjusting basic business
models and strategies searching for current and longer term success,
according to Transport Capital Partners' (TCP) First Quarter
2012 Business Expectations Survey.
Nineteen percent of carriers report changing their type of haul
during, a 25 percent increase from a year ago. Although, the majority of
carriers however (68%) have not made any changes to type of haul, type
of equipment, or commodity.
"Long term strategy has come to the forefront as carriers cope with
high demands for equipment and balance that with rising equipment costs,
driver constraints, and operating dynamics," said Richard Mikes, TCP
Partner and survey founder.
Carriers were asked their driver to non-driver staff ratio (excluding
maintenance but including owners and executive staff) for both 2005 and
2011. Overall, carriers have become slightly leaner in the last six
While smaller carriers have higher percentage of driver to non-driver
ratio of six or better compared to that of larger carriers (42% vs.
25%), "this is most likely due to employees who each perform a variety
of tasks at smaller carriers," said Lana Batts, TCP Partner.
Compared to a year ago, carriers are more confident that they can
renegotiate accessorials such as fuel surcharges and detention times. A
third, however, don't feel confident in their ability to renegotiate
accessorials, an increase from only 19 percent of carriers in February
"Carriers are focusing on big ticket items such as driver time (i.e.
detention) and fuel cost reimbursements in rate discussions this time,"
Additionally, some of these staffing decisions may be the result of
changes to comply with CSA 2010 regulations. Seventy-eight percent of
carriers have added training so that carriers may better understand how
CSA 2010 will affect their careers, and 55 percent of carriers have
invested in monitoring technology; both of which require company
There has been a significant change however in the amount of time
that it takes for carriers to get paid. In February of 2009, a little
over a year after the recession began, 57 percent of carriers reported
seeing their Daily Sales Outstanding (DSOs) increase. Now, three years
later, only 28 percent report this increase. There was not a
significant difference found between carrier size and average DSO time,
according to the survey.