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Truckers again face driver shortage, survey indicates

Transport Capital Partners LLC (TCP) has completed its Business Expectation Survey for the second quarter of 2010, which found that two-thirds of carriers surveyed are experiencing a return of the driver shortage.

“With volumes increasing and expectations rising, the old challenge of driver recruiting has resurfaced,” said Richard Mikes, TCP partner.

“Carriers are ramping up recruiting efforts, but smaller carriers are having less trouble finding drivers,” said Lana Batts, managing partner for TCP. The demand for drivers reflects the increase in truck freight according to various industry sources as truck utility rises.

TCP uses the quarterly survey to collect insights and opinions of executives nationwide in order to report on the state of the industry and future expectations.

Its surveys over the past year show carriers have become less reliant on brokers, with almost 80% saying they have used brokers less in the last quarter.

“The trend away from broker use is very evident over the last year, when in May ‘09 about two-thirds were using more brokers and today three quarters are using fewer brokers,” said Mikes. “In particular, the supply demand dynamics have rapidly shifted to the truckers’ favor after the depressed years with current rates rising and expectations for better months ahead,” concurred Batts and Mikes.

Larger carriers are less dependent on spot market revenues, with 80% of carriers with more than $25 million in revenues reporting that 15% or less of current revenues are from spot market loads, while 55% of carriers under this level had similar shares.

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