Regional less-than-truckload carrier Pitt Ohio will purchase 125 tractors and 100 trailers this year, as the company benefits from a “solid” if not robust economic recovery.
Pitt Ohio is holding the line on capacity, however, with the new tractors and trailers replace existing equipment in the company’s 800-truck fleet, not expand the fleet.
“There’s still excess capacity out there,” said John Tillison, director of enterprise solutions at Pitt Ohio. “There are still too many trucks for the available freight.”
However, many of those trucks are ready to be retired from service. The average Class 8 tractor in the U.S. is more than six years old, according to ACT Research.
“We’re coming to a fork in the road,” said Muessig. “During the recession, carriers deferred capital expenditures. Now they’ll have to buy trucks to remain viable.”
The company’s revenue is up 6 percent from a year ago, net of fuel surcharges, and its package and truckload operations are expanding as well as its LTL business.
“We’re taking market share based on new services,” said Geoffrey H. Muessig, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the Pittsburgh-based carrier.
Business from its carrier partners in the Reliance Network is up 18 percent year-over-year, he said. The alliance handles about 40,000 shipments a day.
Truck prices are much higher than five years ago but they aren’t likely to drop soon. “If you’re not going to buy this year, when are you going to buy?” Muessig said.
Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc