Survey: Driver shortage impact on capacity is widespread

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CKCVR on Thursday, May 5, announced that more than seven in 10 fleets surveyed for its second-quarter 2011 Fleet Sentiment Report indicate that the shortage of drivers is either impacting their fleet now or may in the future. According to the report, 42 percent see a problem today with current seats empty, limits on the number of new units that can be added for new capacity or by the necessity to redeploy their fleet to more short haul/regional routes. Another 32 percent that are unaffected now believe the shortage of this resource could impact their fleet in the future.

The Fleet Sentiment Report Buying Index fell in the second quarter to a reading of 90.5. CKCVR says, however, that the reading simply measures the number of survey respondents who plan to place orders in the next three months; supplemental information collected regarding the size of orders and fleets planning them point to continued strong demand for medium- and heavy-duty power units and trailers.

CKCVR regularly polls a group of small, medium and large for-hire, private and government fleet operators about their equipment purchasing plans and overall fleet environment. In April, 52 fleets operating more than 77,000 medium- and heavy-duty power units and 132,000 trailers responded to the quarterly questionnaire.

The quarterly Fleet Sentiment survey includes questions about short- and longer-term equipment buying plans, preferred OEM, new specs, current fleet capacity vs. freight demand, equipment utilization rates including the percent of parked vehicles, 2010 emissions engine choices, the impact of a driver shortage and a product discussion.