* DC - Over-the-road US shippers prepare to pay more
--- US shippers enjoyed a truck-pricing windfall in 2016, as lower freight demand, tumbling fuel prices and an abundance of available truckload capacity led to the best rate environment shippers had seen since the recession, at least in the truckload sector. As the US slipped into its second long patch of slow growth since the recovery began in 2009 — expanding less than 2 percent for three straight quarters — truckload rates slipped and carriers cut pricing to fill trucks... What goes down often comes up, however, and shippers who enjoyed a break from truckload rate increases and even some reduction in costs in 2016 are nervous about what they’ll encounter in 2017, especially in the second half of the year. That’s in large part due to a Dec. 18 deadline for trucking operators and truck drivers to switch from paper logbooks to electronic logging, a huge cultural and operational change that could lead to a contraction in capacity... The good news is that, based on interviews, statements and surveys over the past few months, shippers do expect 2017 to be a better year in many respects than 2016. The US economy certainly left the soft patch behind in the third quarter of 2016, when real GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the 2016 second quarter, real GDP increased 1.4 percent...
(Photo) -- Washington, DC, USA - JOC, by William B. Cassidy - Jan 14, 2017
Labels: freight rates, trucking industry news USA