CCJ MarketPulse: Optimism about trucking business conditions abounds

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Updated Aug 2, 2017

The following information is obtained from the June 2017 CCJ MarketPulse Report, a survey of more than 200 senior executives at trucking companies who have agreed to participate monthly. The June 2017 CCJ MarketPulse Report received 73 completed responses from carrier executives.

If you would like to participate in the CCJ MarketPulse survey, please email Jeff Crissey at [email protected].

Optimism abounds

6 Month Business Forecast Overall, 79.5 percent of respondents in the June 2017 CCJ MarketPulse believe business conditions will be better over the next six months, and only 2.9 percent expect business conditions to worsen in that time. 87.5 percent of respondents from large fleets expect conditions to improve compared to 60.0 percent of respondents from smaller fleets. On a month-over-month basis, 33.8 percent of respondents said June was better than May, while 10.3 percent said it was worse and 55.9 percent said business remain unchanged.

Fewer fleets looking to grow

6 Month Business PlanDespite the positive outlook, only 36.7 percent of all respondents said they are likely to increase the size of their fleets in the next six months, down sharply from 47.7 percent in the May survey. Respondents from larger carriers are more than twice as likely (43.8 percent vs. 20.0 percent) to add capacity. Only 1.5 percent of all respondents plan to decrease fleet size, while 61.8 percent plan to keep fleet size the same by either replacing aging equipment or not making any changes.

Staffing up

Business Plans for Next 6 Months60.3 percent of all respondents said they are likely to add full-time employees in the next six months, a major increase from a year ago, where only 35.5 percent of respondents to the June 2016 survey said they intended to add full-time staff. Only 5.9 percent of respondents said they plan to cut full-time employees, part-time employees and/or independent contractors, while 29.4 percent plan to maintain current employment levels.

Carrier sentiment hits yearlong high

June Production ScaleThe Carrier Sentiment Index held steady at 6.5, marking three consecutive months of monthly business performance well above neutral territory. The index assesses the month on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the carrier’s worst month and 10 being the best. All respondents were optimistic, with June business conditions earning a 6.6 from fleets with more than 100 power units and a 6.2 from fleets with up to 100 power units.