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Dollars & Sense

Up, Up, and Away (and Maybe a Bit Down, Too): March 2010 Freight Numbers Are In...

By Jason McGlone
Posted Apr 24th 2010 3:59AM
This week, Sylectus released their monthly analysis and comparative figures for March 2010, and it should come as no surprise that this March's volumes significantly exceeded March 2009.  This comes as no surprise because last March was, as Sylectus puts it, "One of the worst business months in recent history."  Specifically, shipping volumes for March 2010 over March 2009 were up 43%, and revenues were an impressive increase of 74%.  Another established trend over the last several months is that rate per mile is still down, and actually decreased a penny from February 2010.  As a result, Sylectus suggests that businesses review their rate structure to ensure they're getting the most for the work they're putting in.

Regarding March 2009, Sylectus says that it "Was in the major part of the recession 'correction,' so it was a given that we should be able to beat last year's numbers.

Orders were up 43% Billable miles were up 65%  (Huge increase in billable miles.  Longer length of haul.) Billable revenue was up 74% Linehaul revenue was up 68% Fuel revenue was up 146% Linehaul revenue per mile dipped a bit again."

The report also looks at March versus February and notes that volumes showed a sharp increase, which Sylectus notes is typical due to February's typical slowness and the fact that March has more working days.  Nonetheless, volumes increased by 17%, billable miles and linehaul revenue went up by 18%, and billable revenue went up 19%.

The monthly report goes on to compare 2010 to 2007 and states that this comparison, in terms of volume, is somewhat favorable: "2010 is starting out similar to a “normal” year and is trending very close to 2007.  There are more glimmers of hope considering more of our customers are starting to show year over year growth.  We continue to see the economy exiting the recession."  The result of these trends, from the perspective of those companies using Sylectus products and services, may be the following:

Increases in volumes, Increases in fleet size and capacity, as well as a "ramping up" in recruiting efforts, Increases in Sylectus training opportunities.

In the conclusion of their report, Sylectus regularly offers 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."

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