Researchers forecast negotiating advantage for truckers

| 10/13/2009

After struggling through the recession – and a period where shippers held all the cards when it came to rates – an Indiana research company is predicting that independent truckers may soon gain the upper hand.

Kenny Vieth of ACT Research is predicting slow improvement in the trucking economy over the next three years.

And Vieth thinks, by the end of this year, the industry will see a situation in which there’s more freight to haul than there are trucks to haul it.

“The good news is, in the second half of 2010 the spot freight market should be showing marked improvement in freight rates,” said Vieth. “And as we get out to the beginning of 2011, I think on contract freight rates – where in the past few years the shippers have really controlled the negotiation – I think truckers are going to really have the upper hand in the negotiation with shippers.”

Vieth says ACT Research is also predicting that after three straight years of declines in the production of heavy-duty trucks, Class 8 production will now start picking up. He says several major trucking companies have already announced that they’re through shrinking their fleets and are ready to add new trucks.

– By Reed Black, staff writer