Just over 50 percent of trucking companies believe they are getting the rates of return needed to justify further investment in new equipment, according to the second-quarter industry survey by Transport Capital Partners.
One-third of the carriers surveyed do not intend to add new equipment, as many have reported inadequate return on investment, the survey showed. Replacement of aging fleets remains the main driver of equipment purchases.
“Higher equipment costs in recent years, combined with the lower utilization resulting from new [hours of service] rules, will continue to make adequate returns on investment a challenge,” said Steven Dutro, TCP partner, in a written statement.
That means truck capacity could tighten considerably if freight demand rises. The survey also reported that 73 percent of carriers expect rates to rise over the next 12 months, but 45 percent do not believe they will be able to renegotiate accessorial charges.
“As freight demand grows, shippers who need consistent service will need to assist carriers in gaining operational efficiency and adequate compensation,” said Richard Mikes, TCP partner. “Larger carriers are more confident they are positioned to achieve this customer cooperation.”