Freight analysts are predicting upward pressure on trucking pricing for North American shippers, as capacity remains at lower levels and demand begins to pick up in 2012.
Truck utilization will remain strong and rates are expected to go up due to a forecasted 3.9 percent growth in truck volume in 2012, with little to no excess capacity expected until 2013 when new driver work rules take effect. Those new hours of service rules, which take effect in July 2013, are expected to shorten the daily and weekly hours available for some truck drivers. The biggest effect will be on truckers who rely on the 34-hour restart provision of the rules to shorten the time between work weeks and get back on the road.
On top of this, trucking companies are slowly replacing older vehicles and only a handful are cautiously beginning to increase their capacity little by little. Until overall capacity rises to levels that can meet the levels of volume, expect trucking rates to continue to rise over the course of 2012.