TORONTO, Ont. — A survey of corporate chief financial officers found that transportation CFO sentiment is in line with the overall mean when it comes to the current state of their industry, the US economy and the global economy.
The GE Capital Mid-Market CFO Survey, which included CFO input from a variety of sectors, found that transportation CFOs were the most optimistic about Canada’s economy over the next 12 months compared with other sectors, with 52% predicting expansion during that period.
They were also the most optimistic when it came to industry growth, with 45% saying the transportation industry will expand over the next 12 months.
Transportation CFOs are nearly equally divided when it comes to company growth, with 45% expecting their company to be in a moderate growth phase and 48% expecting a cyclical/limited growth phase for the next one to three years.
Fifty-five percent expect their company’s revenues to increase this year, while 33% expect revenues to remain about the same.
More than half (52%) expect their cost structure to stay about the same, while 39% expect it to increase.
The top business concern is energy costs, including oil and gas, named by more than three-quarters (76%) of transportation industry respondents. The second-greatest concern is labour costs at 70%.
More than half of transportation CFOs (52%) plan to keep pricing stable, while 39% plan to increase prices.
Seventy-nine percent of transportation CFOs have been hiring this year, and 76% anticipate hiring in the next 12 months.
More than half (52%) anticipate spending more money on equipment this year, and
73% said that credit from their lender has remained the same.
Regarding questions only asked of transportation respondents, the top concern is safety/CSA regulations, followed by truck size and weight regulations.
The majority of transportation CFOs (79%) plan to rent equipment if they need it this year. The second-most popular option (73%) is to finance new equipment with a loan. Only 18% of respondents said they did not plan to add new equipment this year.
According to transportation CFOs, the greatest business opportunities this year are acquiring new customers, chosen by 79%, and increasing tonnage volume from existing customers, chosen by 48%.
According to GE, respondents to the survey have revenues of $61 million and an employee count of 214, on average.