Shippers expect higher fuel surcharges in 2006

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Shippers are more likely to pay a higher fuel surcharge than a base rate increase in 2006, according to a third-quarter shipper survey.

Moreover, the fuel surcharges being paid to truckload carriers vary little with the size of the carrier, according to The Supply Chain Indicator, released this month by the investment firm Bear Stearns.

Although the first quarter of the year is traditionally slow, shippers surveyed stated they did not expect to push back on the fuel surcharge.

Truckload capacity remains tight but is more balanced than a year ago, while less-than-truckload capacity has stayed mostly balanced, Bear Stearns reported. Its survey, however, was conducted in early October, before the full impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Yield growth among both truckload and LTL carriers was slower compared to a year ago, Bear Stearns reported.