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Trucking confidence is up north of the border

Oct. 17, 2014

If the recent results of GE Capital Canada’s third quarter mid-size business survey are to be believed, trucking should continue to enjoy favorable conditions in a land once dubbed “The Great White North” by the esteemed Bob & Doug McKenzie (beauty!)

Here’s what the 30 or so Canadian truckers identified to GE as some of the big issues facing their operations as 2014 draws rapidly to a close:

  • A majority of them experienced increased revenue over the past year and employment growth has been strong with 60% of Canadian motor carriers polled adding jobs.
  • Growth projections are also strong, with more than three-quarters of firms expecting increasing revenue and almost two-thirds expecting increasing employment in the coming year.
  • This growth is creating strong demand for qualified personnel with nearly all firms expressing concerns about recruiting and retaining qualified drivers.
  • Interestingly, in the view of Canadian truckers at least, the industry is less dependent on innovation for growth, thus the adoption of new fuel saving technologies is likely to remain low for the foreseeable future.
In terms of what the biggest challenges Canadian truckers expect to face in the coming year, the cost of doing business is seen as having greatest impact.

Not surprisingly, Canadian truckers are also struggling to attract and retain talented employees – even senior management personnel.

That aside, Canadian trucking firms are confident their revenues and profits are going to keep right on growing for the rest of 2014 and into 2015, despite higher operating costs – especially for fuel.

Specifically, according to GE Capital’s findings:

  • Increasing average revenue per mile and acquiring new customers are viewed as the greatest business opportunities for Canada’s trucking industry in 2014.
  • Two-thirds of Canadian trucking firms polled by GE Capital expect an increasing cost structure this year with more than one-third saying energy costs will have a significant impact on their business.
  • As a result, nearly all trucking firms plan to raise the price of their services next year to compensate for increasing costs
  • A whopping 73% are considering additional financing for equipment and more than half plan on financing fleet expenses in the next 12 months.

That’s some interesting perspective to say the least being offered by our maple leaf brethren.

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