Trucking Rates Continue To Rise For 2011

Penske Logistics was proud to present figures that showed a 6.6 rise in the total amount spent on U.S. Business logistics during 2011. They reported this rise in trucking and transportation as sponsors at the annual “State Of Logistics” report presented at a press conference held by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. This was the 23rd year that the council collected and reported statistics on the health of the logistics industry. The announcement was made on June 13 and was hosted at the National Press Club.

The total cost of logistics for 2011 came to a total of $1.28 trillion. This accounted for about 8.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Rosalyn Wilson, an expert transportation consultant from Delcan, Inc., authored the study. She measured every cost that was related to the movement of freight, and has done so since 1988. Her information on the U.S. supply chain has been invaluable to lawmakers and logistic companies alike.

Overall revenue for railroad companies grew by 15.3, demonstrating that railway freight was not affected by the capacity issues that plagued trucking companies during 2011. Many trucking groups turned to intermodal railways to minimize lost business based on driver shortages. Companies that downsized on drivers and equipment during the beginning of the recession found themselves ill-equipped to handle the rise in demand. Despite these issues, the trucking industry still saw a rise in rates between 5 and 15 percent during 2011.

Air cargo set a new record on the amount of freight exported, but still managed to shrink slightly. Revenue reported by domestic air cargo providers dropped by 3 percent, while international providers only saw a loss of 1 percent. Ocean carriers experienced similar losses as demand for their services continues to decline. Air cargo is continuing to grow despite occasional spikes in air fuel costs that cause freight costs to jump. Changes in inventory management techniques were indicated by troubling inventory records. Carrying costs rose, as they have for the past three years, and logistics companies saw inventories rising back to pre-recession levels. These increases came directly from manufacturers and wholesalers, with retail inventories staying at 2010 levels.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals has been compiling this important research into their annual report to help logistics companies stay flexible during challenging times. The statistics allow companies understand how the economy affects their industry. Smart companies can use these figures to estimate trends and adjust their workforce to compensate. The continuing trend of growing demand for trucking and air cargo indicates the need for increased hiring.

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