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FTR Freight Conference Provides Subdued Outlook

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Despite reports that the Canadian economy is bouncing back quicker than expected, it may be a long road back to prosperity for the US trucking industry, according to speakers at F...


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –Despite reports that the Canadian economy is bouncing back quicker than expected, it may be a long road back to prosperity for the US trucking industry, according to speakers at FTR Associates’ annual Freight Transportation Conference.

The two-day conference, held Aug. 25-27, featured speakers from the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, freight carriers, shippers, suppliers and consultants as well as FTR itself. Highlights included: the US recovery will be slowed by subdued consumer spending, leading to continued high unemployment and slow growth for freight volumes; the US is currently at the bottom of its steepest freight decline since 1980-1982, with freight down 15% from the previous peak; it’ll be a buyer’s market for freight transportation services in the near-term, as depressed volumes and excess capacity continue to rule, putting continued pressure on carrier margins; high levels of excess capacity will continue, as US banks are still reluctant to foreclose on heavily-discounted assets from near-bankrupt carriers; and carriers may not reach “equilibrium” until 2011.


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