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Inside the Numbers (September 01, 2006)

WELCOME to Inside the Numbers, a new department in Motortruck Fleet Executive. We've been busy collecting a great deal of data on industry trends and statistics through our Transportation Media Resear...


WELCOME to Inside the Numbers, a new department in Motortruck Fleet Executive. We’ve been busy collecting a great deal of data on industry trends and statistics through our Transportation Media Research division. We’ve also been collecting such data from other sources. And we want to share it with you.

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That’s where the operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenue) for Canada’s largest trucking companies remains stuck. The 5.7% rise in revenues posted by the nation’s top carriers (Canadian-based trucking firms with annual revenues in excess of $25 million) in the second quarter was offset by the same increase in their costs, according to data from Statistics Canada. As a result, the operating ratio showed no improvement from the second quarter of 2005.

How prevalent is the pre-buy?

One third of Canadian motor carrier fleets are employing a pre-buy strategy this year to avoid the steep price hike associated with the 2007 engines, according to our recent Equipment Buying Trends Survey. That’s up from the about a quarter who told us last year they would employ such a strategy. Almost 30% used a pre-buy strategy back in 2002 when the US EPA instituted its previous engine emissions reduction mandate.

source: equipment buying trends survey, transportation media research

And what are the expectations for fuel performance?

Quite pessimistic apparently, according to our Equipment Buying Trends Survey. Almost 60% of fleet managers responding to our survey expected a degradation in fuel performance for the 2007 model engines compared to current engines. This despite the fact about half of survey respondents reported fuel performance with their current engines, about which they were initially pessimistic, was equal to or better than their pre-02 engines.

source: equipment buying trends survey, transportation media research

Importance of Performance Criteria – What do shippers want?

On-time performance, not surprisingly, is the most important performance criterion in carrier selection among shippers using both TL and LTL transport, according to our annual survey of more than 2,000 transportation buyers across Canada. But note also the importance transportation buyers place on competitive pricing – it’s ranked as the third most important criterion for buyers of LTL transport, just slightly behind customer service, and as the second most important factor for buyers of TL transport. (Respondents to our Transportation Buying Trends Survey were asked to rate the importance of the seven performance criteria in their carrier selection on a scale of 1 to 5.)


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Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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