Dollars & Sense
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: February 2010 Expediting Industry Numbers
(formerly known as GPSNet Technologies) recently released their
analytics and comparative figures for February 2010, and it appears
that the industry is continuing the rise that began in June 2009. In
comparison to February 2009, February 2010 volumes were up 36% and that
overall revenues in February 2010 were up 52%. Also continuing along
the lines of recent trends, per-mile rates slipped a few cents and have
been generally down over the length of this rise in freight figures.
According to Sylectus's report, this trend seems to be based partially (at least) upon the notion that companies (be they transport-related or not) are trepidatious about taking on additional cost, even in the face of expansion and growth opportunities during the economical recovery period. " All the transportation 'business volume' numbers (trip counts) we see are extremely positive," the report reads. "Our index is showing strong, sustained trip counts. The only downside is the rate-per-mile is still depressed. It seems that the 'buyers' market still prevails."
Nonetheless, it appears that the rises in volume and overall revenue look to continue through the remainder of the year, barring any additional, large-scale economic shifts. Except, of course, for per-mile rates. Sylectus predicts that "If rates can creep back up, transportation companies can rebuild their cash reserves and strengthen their business equity."
A particularly interesting analysis that Sylectus conducts looks at their "Expedite Load Index," which is a normalized combined load count of their customers, and compares it to the Dow Jones Index (DJI). In looking at this comparison over the last three years, it's clear that Sylectus's Expedite Load Index has recovered very quickly compared to the DJI; in fact, 2010 appears to be on par with the industry prior to the economic downturn of a couple years ago. Too, it's important to note that the Expedite Load Index is performing well above the comparative levels of the DJI. This is, of course, in reference to the numbers of loads that carriers are running and are not necessarily connected in any way to the rates-per-mile we noted above.
In their suggestions to their partner companies, Sylectus urges some advice that may be usable for expediters that aren't necessarily affiliated with the firm. Specifically, they're noting:
That being creative with opportunities can (and often will) lead to repeat customers;
Keeping truck postings current and accurate will keep you from missing good opportunities;
During downtime or slow times, it's never a bad idea to market yourself a bit to new and continuing customers alike.
Build some inter-company relationships. Share some loads. Build some trust, and "Mend strained or broken relationships. You never know when you will need each other."