TCP survey shows one in four carriers pondering quitting

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The results from Transport Capital Partners’ recent Business Expectations Survey of truckload carriers in the United States show continuing confidence in the year ahead, but one in four carriers still are considering leaving the industry over the next 18 months. TCP – a firm specializing in transportation mergers and acquisitions, capital sourcing and advisory services – uses the quarterly survey to collect the insights and opinions of executives nationwide in order to report on the current state of the industry and future expectations.

“TCP’s surveys over the last five quarters clearly show carriers have become more confident in rates and volumes, but in the short run a substantial number of carriers, one in eight, say they are considering leaving if tonnage does not increase in six months,” says Richard Mikes, TCP managing partner. “Over a quarter of carriers would be interested in selling over the next 18 months.”

“The survey shows that small carriers generally are less optimistic and more anxious to sell than their larger competitors – with over $25 million in revenue – with the total number of carriers saying they would be interested in selling up about 50 percent over last quarter,” says Lana Batts, TCP managing partner.

Mikes says that in general, more carriers are interested in buying – 37 percent – compared to selling – 28 percent – led by larger carriers with a 2-to-1 margin over smaller carriers, which may be reflective of public carriers with larger cash positions. Batts and Mikes both believe conditions are ripe for a flurry of acquisitions in the next 18 months.