Canadian owner-operators and fleet managers appear to be decidedly pessimistic about trucking conditions for the year to come, largely because of concerns about the general economy.
Those responding last week to a Today’s Trucking Pulse Survey rated their optimism about general economic conditions at 2.4 out of five. They also said trucking-specific economic conditions in 2024 would rate 2.3 out of five when compared to 2023.
Those results were in line with results reported when the same questions were posed in October 2022.
But 39% said general economic conditions will have the single-biggest impact on trucking rates in 2024 – up from the 23% that last year’s respondents had predicted for this year. Fuel prices were cited by 23%, down from the 30% identified in last year’s survey.
Twelve percent said rate cutting and competitive pressures would have the largest impact on rates, while 11% cited equipment prices.
More than one-third (37%) of respondents expect rates to drop in 2024, down from 31% who made similar projections last year. Twenty-nine percent expect rates to remain the same. Of those who predict increases, 21% said they expected hikes of 1-5%, while 10% predict increases of 5-10%.
Forty percent of those who responded to the survey expect their businesses to remain the same in 2024 – down from the 46% reported last year — with 31% expecting some level of growth, and the remainder expecting business to drop.
Pulse Surveys are conducted on a variety of issues every month. The latest questions were answered by 99 respondents.
Full survey results will appear in the December edition of Today’s Trucking magazine.
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