INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Motor carrier hopes for higher rates greatly differentiated by fleet size

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TORONTO, Ont. – Canadian motor carrier hopes for higher rates seem to be tempered by the reality of a slow growing economy and differentiated by their fleet size.

Only 51% of Canadian motor carrier executives responding to our latest Transportation Buying Trends Survey indicated they expected their core pricing (excluding surcharges) to increase in 2013. In comparison, two thirds of carrier executives expected core price increases a year ago.  

The national survey, conducted in late December and early January and including responses from more than 100 carrier executives from across Canada, also found that 39% of motor carrier executives expect rates to remain flat this year. In comparison, only a quarter expected rates to remain flat back in 2012.

Of those who did expect an increase, the majority (41%) expect to raise core pricing in the range of 2.1 to 4%. Another 37% of respondents expected rate increases in the 1 to 2% range. Only 6% expected to raise rates more than 6%.

The overall numbers from the survey belie a great divide in how carriers, depending on their fleet size, view rate increases for 2013.

Three quarters of large carriers (100 Class 8 trucks or more in their fleets) expected to raise their core pricing in 2013. In comparison, only 40% of medium-sized carriers (10-99 Class 8 vehicles in their fleet) expected rate increases and only 39% of small carriers (those with 5-9 trucks in their fleets) expected to hike their pricing.

The majority of this year’s survey respondents (59%) were headquartered in Central Canada; 13% in Eastern Canada; and 23% from Western Canada.

The annual survey is conducted by our research division in partnership with the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, Cormark Securities and CITT.

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