Trucking capacity was impacted by the recession of 2009 but exactly how much ? According to SI consulting group truckload capacity was lessened by at least 20% and this percent never re-entered the market. Overall 1 in 5 trucks is out of the market.
According to the Journal of Commerce Truckload Capacity Index truckload capacity has not significantly changed since the end of the recession. The index did rise .03 percent in the 2nd quarter but this was the same as the 4th quarter of 2011. This increase did not mean more trucks entering the market. The increase reflected lower freight demand. Low freight demand may increase the capacity index for the 3rd quarter as well. U.S. GDP growth decreased from 2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.3 percent in the the second quarter. Forecasts for the 3rd quarter do not indicate much change. Overall truckload capacity is only likely to increase if the GDP grows more slowly. The capacity will decrease if the economy gets stronger.
Truckload capacity has ranged between 84.1 – 86.2 percents since the first quarter of 2009. Overall the truckload carriers being tracked are operating at a tractor capacity level more than 15% below their peak in the 4th quarter of 2006.
The LTL sector was hit hard as well. The industry lost nearly 25% revenue in 2009 alone Even the though the LTL industry seen revenue increases of 9.2% in2010 and a 12% increase in 2011, the industry is still 10 percent below the $33.7 billion revenue peak of 2006. SI Consulting also reported the 10 largest LTL carriers reduced their combined terminal count by 18.5 percent in 2007 through 2011.