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Capacity squeeze continues in for-hire carrier sector

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The thinning of the ranks among Canadian trucking companies continues but those left behind appear...


OTTAWA, Ont. — The thinning of the ranks among Canadian trucking companies continues but those left behind appear better off.

There were an estimated 2,960 for-hire trucking companies based in Canada with annual revenues of $1 million or more in the first quarter, according to Statistics Canada. That’s down from 3,124 carriers in the first quarter of 2002.

Operating revenues totalled $5.39 billion, up 1.0% from the first quarter of 2002, and operating expenses reached $5.11 billion, up 2.2%. This increase in expenses was mainly driven by higher miscellaneous expenses (+11.1%), depreciation (+9.4%) and fuel expenditures (+5.5%).

As a result of the combined effect of the decline of the estimated number of trucking companies and the increase of global operating expenses and revenues, average operating revenues (+6.4%) and expenses (+8.1%) were both up in the first quarter from the first quarter of 2002. Average revenues were $1.82 million, compared with $1.71 million and average expenses were $1.73 million, compared with $1.60 million in the first quarter of 2002. The operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenues) rose slightly to 0.95.

For-hire trucking transportation revenues from international movements increased 10.6% to $1.99 billion from $1.80 billion in the first quarter of 2002. Revenues from outbound movements were up 11.5%, and revenues from inbound movements increased by 9.8%.

In addition to the 2,960 for-hire carriers earning at least one million in annual revenues, there are about 6,000 for-hire carriers who earn less than one million annually. Their numbers have been thinned by a remarkable 25% over the past three years.


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