ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2013) — The trucking industry will eventually see a capacity crunch as demand for freight services will overtake the supply of trucks and drivers, according to Bob Costello, chief economist for American Trucking Associations.
"At the moment, fleets are expanding slowly, which means that once we see more consistent, accelerated economic growth—think 2.75-percent or 3-percent increases in GDP on a regular basis—it will eventually cause very tight capacity," Mr. Costello said in an ATA press release.
Between slow growth in loads and rising costs, fleets could see weaker profit margins in the near term, according to Mr. Costello.
"While we do see tightening capacity going forward, until we get to those consistent levels of growth, margins will be under pressure because the costs of fuel, driver recruitment and retention and equipment will rise faster than freight rates," he said. "However, once capacity does tighten, carriers will see improvement on the bottom line."