Survey Says: Truckers keen on acquisitions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With the eye of the recessionary storm long past, carriers are showing more interest in acquisitions and mergers, according to a Business Expectation Survey by Transport Capital Partners.

Almost half of carriers surveyed are translating optimism for the year ahead into interest in buying another company.

"The present surge of freight and general outlook for improved rates has spiked interest in acquisitions, rising from around mid-thirty percent range by respondents in the prior five quarters to 45 percent now interested," stated Richard Mikes, TCP partner.

Carriers of all sizes are interested in buying, but larger carriers are most keen in finding opportunities, noted Lana Batts, managing partner for TCP.

TCP’s surveys over the last year show that carriers have become less interested in selling this quarter, however.

"The interest in selling has trended somewhat flat after peaking in February a year ago in the thick of dropping rates and volumes," observed Mikes.

When asked in February ’09 if they had given consideration to leaving the industry if tonnage does not increase in the next six months, over 20 percent of all carriers said ‘yes. ‘Currently about 20 percent of small carriers are still replying yes, while only 8 percent of the larger carriers are nodding their heads.

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