BOISE, Idaho — The Bloomberg | Truckstop semi-annual freight broker survey shows brokers are less pessimistic than anticipated given the challenges the industry faces from declining volume and rate pressures.
“Freight brokers appear unfazed by the collapse in spot truckload rates and the effects of moderating economic activity on demand, contractual rates and gross margins,” Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said. “Only 12% of respondents expect gross margins to contract over the next six months.”
The Bloomberg | Truckstop Truckload 2H-22 survey shows upbeat sentiment:
- Broker demand sentiment surprisingly upbeat: About 41% of respondents said volume rose in 2H compared with a year earlier, about 6 percentage points lower than in our 1H22 survey. Though more respondents reported growth, the magnitude of declines were greater.
- Brokers remain relatively optimistic about demand growth: About 49% of those surveyed expect demand growth over the next six months vs. 45% in 1H22 and 76% in 2H21.
- Brokers are split about where rates are headed, even as pessimism grows: Spot rates excluding fuel surcharges have fallen 24% over the past 12 months after peaking at the end of 2021. About 34% expect rates to decrease in the next six months, while 28% see them rising.
- Brokers are less enthusiastic about the ability to raise contract rates with shippers over the next six months: About 22% of brokers polled expect to boost rates — 14 percentage points below our survey in 1H22 and 34 percentage points behind our 2H21 report.
“The majority of brokers surveyed reported growth from the previous year,” Kendra Tucker, chief executive officer at Truckstop, said. “This tells us that the technology and solutions we provide brokers continue to be an integral part of helping them grow their business in all market conditions.”
The Bloomberg | Truckstop survey of freight brokers’ recent sample size was 112, consisting of freight forwarders, third-party logistics providers and broker agents, as well as asset and non-asset-based brokers. Most respondents (74%) have 1-50 employees. Of those surveyed, non-asset-based brokers made up the biggest group — 40%.
The complete survey is available to Bloomberg Terminal subscribers via BI.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.