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GE Capital survey of Canadian trucking CFOs reflects optimism

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- A recent survey of Canadian trucking chief financial officers (CFOs) indicates they are mostly positive about the overall health of the trucking industry.


MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A recent survey of Canadian trucking chief financial officers (CFOs) indicates they are mostly positive about the overall health of the trucking industry.

The survey, conducted by GE Capital, Canada, suggested Canadian trucking CFOs feel about the same as their peers in other industries about the overall domestic economy.

A total of 186 CFOs from across three major industries (metals, mining and metals fabrication; food, beverage and agribusiness; and retail) took part in the survey. Among the respondents were 44 trucking CFOs. The results were compared to a similar survey in the US conducted by GE Capital.

US transportation CFOs were less optimistic about the state of their industry and the economy than their Canadian peers, the surveys found. Sentiment on the global economy has also declined and US transportation CFOs voiced the least optimism of all industries when it came to the current state of the US and world economies, GE Capital reports.

Forty-seven per cent of US transportation CFOs said the US economy will grow over the next 12 months while 90% said their industry will grow or stay the same. Meanwhile, 55% of Canadian transportation CFOs said the Canadian will grow over the next 12 months, will 34% said it will stay about the same and 11% said the economy will shrink.

Asked to describe their business prospects for the next one to three years, 59% of respondents said their company will experience moderate growth while 20% said they anticipate a cyclical or limited growth phase.

Seventy-three per cent of Canadian transport CFOs said they expect their company’s revenues to increase this year, which represented the most optimistic outlook of all the groups included in the survey.

In terms of profitability, 41% of responding Canadian transport CFOs said profitability will increase, while 45% said it would remain about the same.

Fifty-nine per cent of Canadian transportation CFOs said their new order pipeline was fuller in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, while 30% said it remained about the same.

Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said they’ve been hiring new workers this year. Respondents were divided (41% each) on whether or not they’d be ramping up capital expenditures this year.

Asked what issues that directly affect their business cause them the most concern, transportation CFOs said their biggest worry is cash flow (48%), followed by concerns about their company’s ability to recruit and retain quality drivers (45%) and truck safety (45%).

Half of transportation CFOs said they expect pricing of their services to go up this year, while 39% said it would remain about the same.


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