Robust contract rates spur freight broker optimism going into 2022, according to the latest Bloomberg | Truckstop.com survey. “Optimism is driven by contract rates that appear to be catching up with the spike in spot truckload rates, which began to moderate in 3Q,” says Lee Klaskow, senior freight transportation and logistics analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Volume growth and rate increases for contractual business are setting up a good year for freight brokers' gross margins and earnings.”
“Brokers are in a great position to capitalize on wider margins heading into 2022 due to a host of things including increased volume spurred by greater demand and peak season preparation,” says Paris Cole, CEO, Truckstop.com. “It's paramount that we continue to enable brokers to more efficiently streamline their operations by providing the features and functionality they need to take advantage of the industry’s accelerated growth.”
From PR Newswire:
- About 60% of survey respondents say volume rose from a year earlier, while 76% expect greater demand due to positive vaccine developments, peak-season preparation and rising consumer confidence. Increased infrastructure spending could provide an added boost to trucking demand.
- Brokers remain bullish about their ability to raise contract rates with shippers over the next 6 months, yet about 56% of brokers expect to raise contract rates.
- About 44% of freight broker respondents had a higher gross margin than last year, with 59% optimistic about gross-margin expansion over the next 6 months.
- Rates for brokers are catching up with spot surge with about three-quarters of respondents expecting growth to continue from restocking and increased economic activity, as well as the backlog created by supply chain dislocations. The biggest constraints on growth will likely be the availability of drivers and the ability to hire more brokers.