Author Archives: Don Ake

About Don Ake

Don has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, including 16 years with industry supplier Hendrickson International. Don has a very strong forecasting and market analysis background. While at Hendrickson Don developed forecasting models, methods and processes to accurately forecast Truck and Trailer builds and product demand. Don wrote an industry economic newsletter and gained a reputation as a top industry analyst. His industry supplier background provides a "customer perspective" now that he is with FTR.

Ake’s Take: How the Capacity Crisis was Born

By | March 20, 2018

The U.S. trucking industry is experiencing a capacity crisis, with insufficient numbers of trucks and trailers to haul an ever-increasing amount of freight. FTR’s measurement of Total Truck Utilization is currently at 97% (meaning 97% of all trucks are in use). The index is expected to hit 100% later this year. While it is an… Read More »

Ake’s Take: Christmas Lights Shine for a Bright Economy

By | January 11, 2018

An unusual economic indicator that I track is “Outdoor Christmas Lights” (OCLs). OCLs are a coincidental economic indicator, providing information about the current state of the economy. This indicator is only relevant when the economy is getting weaker or growing stronger, and its measurement is highly subjective – more observational than measurable. Also, it is… Read More »

AKE’S TAKE: Super Gridlock is Super Good for Business

By | October 10, 2017

A panelist at the recent FTR Transportation Conference reminded us that businesses like it when the government stays out of “their business.” He said companies were benefiting from the new “hands off” environment. He claimed this had improved business confidence, and, more importantly, business performance. We have seen these conditions before, usually when power in… Read More »

AKE’S TAKE: Step Right Up and Pick Your Favorite Economic Indicator

By | June 8, 2017

Pick an indicator, any indicator… Flatbed Freight I recently attended a conference for flatbed fleets owners. These small business owners are extremely bullish on flatbed freight in the second half of the year. Their rosy business outlook mirrors some of the small business confidence surveys that have been reported. This is significant, because flatbed trailers… Read More »