Thursday, January 21, 2010

2009 likely the toughest ever for the trucking industry

It’s official. Sort of.

The American Trucking Associations' notes that in 2009 “the motor carrier industry has potentially endured the most severe drop in volumes ever.”

Lane Kidd, director of the Arkansas Trucking Association, agrees. He said most Arkansas-based trucking companies still operating were “significantly” damaged in 2009. He said they employ fewer people, have lower balance sheets and have incurred a lot of debt.

“There are a few exceptions, like (Fort Smith-based) Arkansas Best, which still has money in the bank.” Kidd said during a Tuesday (Jan. 18) interview.

Kidd has watched the trucking sector for 18 years, and 2009 was “easily” the worst in that time, with carriers suffering through a “slow, grinding squeeze on cash flow.”

The Arkansas association recently began calling about 250 small trucking operations in the state — typically firms with fewer than five trucks — as part of a membership drive. Of the about 170 calls made so far, 41% were no longer in business. Full Story.....

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