Survey: Trucking Weak In September

October survey showed weakening conditions across the industry, according to Longbow Research, as many retailers report shipping less freight ahead of the holiday season.

CLEVELAND -- An October survey of terminal managers, owner/operators and management of small private fleets at truckload carriers showed weakening conditions across the industry, according to Longbow Research transportation analyst Lee Klaskow.

Klaskow said retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowes reported shipping less freight ahead of the holiday season. Klaskow also found weakness in steel, packaging and the automotive sector survey respondents.

Capacity utilization fell from 94 percent in August to 90 percent.

"The September reading represents a reversal from July and August when capacity utilization appeared to be improving on a sequential basis," Klaskow said.

Klaskow noted that as a result of those trends, pricing is growing more aggressive.

"The current truckload pricing environment is becoming incrementally more challenging as carriers offer lower rates to shippers in an effort to improve asset utilization, reduce empty miles driven, and avoid further operating ratio deterioration," Klaskow said.

For more information, visit http://www.longbowresearch.com/.

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