An annual survey conducted among nearly 2,200 shippers by trucking conglomerate Averitt Express finds a majority are “optimistic” about freight volumes heading into 2017, with more seeking ways to “simplify” their supply chain practices, which includes cutting back on the number of motor carriers they contract with.
“We are seeing a growing interest among shippers to simplify their supply chain practices, particularly when it comes to the number of carriers and service providers they use,” Phil Pierce, Averitt’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, told Fleet Owner.
“Nearly a quarter of our survey respondents said they want to streamline to fewer carriers in 2017; an increase of nearly 2% from 2016,” he added. “The notion that the cheapest rates will always win the prize is being challenged more and more by a growing demand for reliable, quality service and simplicity.”
Pierce added that the company’s survey is showing more “optimism” among shippers are optimistic about this year, which he believes “is always great news” for motor carriers.
“Nonetheless, we still face a number of risks that will determine whether or not this year will be better than the last,” Pierce stressed. “From the driver shortage to changing technologies, carriers will need to be bold and innovative in 2017. This is certainly a year of opportunities that carriers shouldn’t take for granted.”
Some of the other findings from Averitt’s survey include:
“Results from the survey indicate a relatively optimistic lookout for the year ahead,” noted Averitt’s Pierce.
“However, with big promises to change trade rules and rebuild U.S. infrastructure, supply chain players will have to be attentive and proactive to change,” he stressed. “That’s why having a better understanding of shippers’ needs and challenges will allow us to provide better support in key areas that the survey identified.”
[To download a copy of Averitt's survey, click here.]