2014 Freight Market Analysis

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Photo: Greg Trauthwein

Consultancy and sales company in the transport and logistics industry, CarrierDirect, released its semiannual freight market perspective this month, giving guidance on what to expect for 2014 and how company leadership should be shaping their strategies to compete in the everchanging marketplace.

CarrierDirect said coming from a somewhat better than anemic 2013, the transport and logistics industry has gotten some wind back in its sails as freight tonnage has gone up. Some companies, who may become complacent with comfortable feelings that the industry is back to "how it was", have quickly gone back to old models that made them successful. Meanwhile, other companies – the ostensible new leaders in the industry – are implementing new plans for growth to outcompete their peers in the years ahead.

Some of the themes that CarrierDirect foresees in the years ahead include:

1. Enough GDP growth (between 2 and 3 percent) to keep trucks full, but not necessarily outpace trucking companies' ability to invest in new assets or find drivers

2. Blurring the lines between asset, asset-light and non-asset sectors, as carriers make meaningful steps into the brokerage space and both non-asset and asset-based companies look to asset-light models

3. Brokerages getting larger – through organic and inorganic growth – and developing capabilities to service customers beyond singular modes and become more of a "one stop shop" solution

4. The entrance of new "tech startups" who find creative ways on the asset and non-asset sectors to bring efficiency and value to companies beyond what existing technology vendors provide

5. Asset-based and non-asset companies taking action on a few strategic priorities to avoid being left behind by competition (details inside the perspective)

"The market is going through an interesting transition out there; freight levels are back, but there's a separation between the companies returning to old bad habits and those that are evolving," said Joel Clum, Executive Vice President at CarrierDirect. "We're seeing the market being flooded with professional managers and investors from other industries, as well as some tech startups, who are bringing new ideas, technology and goals for innovation. The old way of doing things has ended and the companies who don't invest in their capabilities to compete in this era of 'new normal' will be left behind."

To download the full report, visit http://carrierdirect.co/our-perspectives/freight-market-2014/.

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