Shippers are bracing for higher transportation costs, even as the economy slows, according to a second-quarter survey of more than 2,000 logistics managers.
On average, the shippers expected their transportation budgets to rise 9 percent over the next year, as tighter capacity pushes rates higher across modes, according to the survey by the Wolfe Trahan equity research firm.
The biggest price hikes will come in intermodal and rail rates, logistics managers said in Wolfe Trahan's quarterly survey of shippers.
On average, shippers expected intermodal rates to increase 4.2 percent over the next 12 months, with rail rates rising 3.8 percent, Wolfe Trahan said.
Shippers expected truckload rates to increase 3.5 percent in that period, while less-than-truckload pricing will rise 2.5 percent, according to the survey.
Truckload giant Swift Transportation expects to raise its contract rates 4 percent this year, the CEO of the $2.9 billion trucking operator said May 27.
Ocean container rates will rise 1.9 percent over the next year, according to the shipper survey, while heavy airfreight rates accelerate 4.8 percent.
Fuel surcharges will account for a large portion of the 9 percent increase in transportation spending forecast through early 2012, Wolfe Trahan said.
“We also believe higher budget expectations reflect higher volume and pricing increases than previously expected,” the transportation research firm said.