August 2016

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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48 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | AUGUST 2016 Even though more carriers reported a loss in revenue year-over-year, for-hire carriers in the CCJ Top 250 had a positive 2015 as a whole BY JEFF CRISSEY I n most respects, 2015 was a good year for carriers. Trucking failures were nearly nonexistent. According to Avondale Partners, only 4,405 trucks were removed from operation last year, a dramatic slowdown from the 29,780 the year before. But rising costs, the looming electronic logging device compliance date at the end of 2017 and other regulatory pressures could spell a return to elevated failures this year. According to the American Trucking Associations, truck tonnage rose year-over-year in 2015 vs. 2014, but grumbles of softer freight volumes and rate reductions threaten prof- itability going forward. As small carriers continue to grapple with wave after wave of federal regulations, they often contend that the industry soon will be comprised only of the biggest fl eets in North America, claiming it is too hard to remain profi table in such a business-averse environment without the econo- mies of scale the largest carriers enjoy. Even within the relatively small sample size of the CCJ Top 250, a closer look reveals that the "haves" and the "have-nots" are separated largely by size. The fi rst 10 companies in the CCJ Top 250 list to self- report or publicly disclose revenues for both 2014 and 2015 averaged 15 percent growth, with only two of the 10 report- ing a drop in revenues year-over-year. Conversely, the last 10 companies in the CCJ Top 250 list to self-report revenues for both years averaged 1 percent growth, with fi ve of the 10 reporting a loss in revenue year-over-year. When you divide the entire CCJ Top 250 list in half for those self-reporting revenues in 2014 and 2015, 54 percent in the top half reported an increase in revenue compared to only 39.3 percent of carriers in the bottom half. Top 250 by the numbers Even though more than half (53.3 percent) of all companies that self-reported or publicly disclosed annual revenues for both 2014 and 2015 saw a decline in revenue, the CCJ Top 250 as a whole turned in 3.8 percent revenue growth year- over-year. After a 7.8 percent increase in revenues from 2013 to 2014, the Flatbed/specialized/heavy haul segment saw the biggest dip in revenue as a group in 2015 at -5.2 percent compared to 2014. Both the Tank/bulk commodities and Motor vehicles segments also experienced declines in revenues, -4.6 percent and -4.4 percent, respectively. Carri- ers in the General freight and Intermodal groups reported

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