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Colography Group to study NAFTA expedited transport market; broaden analysis of LTL

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Colography Group, Inc. has disclosed plans to launch what it claims will be the first-ever emp...

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Colography Group, Inc. has disclosed plans to launch what it claims will be the first-ever empirically-based survey of trends driving time-definite, or expedited, shipping activity within the signatory nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): The United States, Canada and Mexico.

In addition, The Colography Group said it plans to break out its analysis of the U.S. less-than-truckload market into a separate category to be studied on a stand-alone basis. Previously, analysis of the LTL segment was combined with similar research of the domestic air, ground parcel and air export categories.

The proposed companion studies, disclosed by Ted Scherck, president of The Colography Group at a March 11 industry conference in Phoenix, Arizona, are designed to address key trends that influence decision-making by shippers, carriers and intermediaries involved in the NAFTA trades and in the LTL segment.

The NAFTA study will analyze intra-continental traffic flows by mode, transit time, trade lane segment, shipment size and carrier share. It will also explore how Customs and other issues shape shipping decisions and traffic patterns throughout North America.

“A decade since NAFTA, there continues to be a surprising lack of information on shipment flows among the three countries,” Scherck said. “Government data sources remain highly incompatible and replete with gaps. This is especially true as it pertains to modes on the leading edge of expedited transport: air express, ground parcel, LTL and TL trucking.”

Scherck added, “Our mission is to build the most comprehensive empirically-based research effort to ever document how goods move within the North American continent.”

The LTL study will analyze the U.S. surface market through several forms of measurement, including transit time, service type, shipment characteristic and carrier share. The survey will probe pricing, inventory and distribution strategies, and examine the many factors that influence shipper executives when choosing a particular mode, service and vendor.

“Expedited transport is fast becoming standard operating procedure in the LTL segment. Today, more LTL carriers than ever are offering time-definite services and value-added options such as guaranteed delivery,” Scherck said. “Yet there remain many unanswered questions about the size and dynamics of the expedited LTL market. The Colography Group believes the time is right for a comprehensive look at the sector by leveraging the research tools and capabilities that only we can deliver.”

The proposed surveys will supplement The Colography Group’s annual and ongoing National Survey Of U.S. Expedited Cargo. Conducted continuously since 1993, the National Survey Of U.S. Expedited Cargo is designed specifically to produce statistically reliable expedited shipping volume estimates by mode of transport, transit time, product line and individual carrier at the industrial source and/or geographic market levels.

Through December 31, 2002, The Colography Group, as part of its National Survey Of U.S. Expedited Cargo, has completed telephone interviews with more than 205,000 U.S. business establishments.

For more information about participating in the NAFTA and/or expedited LTL studies, contact The Colography Group by calling (678) 385-2500 or online at

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