Keith E. Lovetro, Viking's vp of marketing, said the increase is needed to make physical improvements in the services it offers. He said that along with investments in service centers, equipment, safety programs, and employee training, Viking is focusing on increasing the real-time web-based information available to shippers.
"These investments contribute to our ability to provide reliable, award-winning services that help our customers, and our customers' customers, better manage their businesses in today's economically challenging environment," he said.
Loverto added that Viking is also investing in the development of new services to meet the changing needs of shippers.
"Constantly analyzing the marketplace and what our customers tell us they need enables Viking to offer easy-to-do-business-with services that can help customers compete more effectively,” Loverto said.
Dennie Carey, American Freightways's executive vp of marketing, echoed Loverto’s statements.
Last week, Yellow Freight Systems announced its plans to raise its rates 4.9% beginning August 1. Analysts say carriers tend to announce rate increases in time for the strongest seasonal demand, between August and November, with hopes that customers will pay more for freight transportation that helps them reduce inventory costs.