Fleet Owner | Optimism Grows for Significant Freight Rate Increases

10.16.17 | Neil Abt, Fleet Owner

Trucking industry reports indicate capacity continues to tighten, and significant freight rate increases are expected in the coming months.

Recent hurricanes, the pending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and an uptick in overall freight demand has “unquestionably” given trucking fleets the upper hand in 2018 negotiations, according to a report from analyst Jason Seidl of Cowen and Co.

The report said private fleets and third-party logistics (3PL) firms are “as bullish as we’ve ever heard,” with rate increases possibly reaching 15%. 

Growing market optimism was also evident in FTR’s preliminary September report on trailer orders, which came in at 21,500 units, up 47% from August and 84% from a year earlier.

“When fleets begin ordering more trailers in September, it indicates the market should be robust the following year,” said Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles. “Freight expansion early next year will severely strain industry capacity, and fleets will need to add trailers to handle the added loads.”

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