Freight Brokers Optimistic on Gross-Margin Expansion

A new report from Bloomberg and reveals brokers plan to capitalize on wider margins and almost 60% are optimistic about gross-margin expansion over the next six months.

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Freight brokers are confident going into the rest of 2022 thanks to robust contract rates, according to a survey of brokerage and truckload companies conducted by Bloomberg | More than 44% of respondents said they had higher gross margin in the second half compared to a year earlier. Seventy-six percent expect greater demand thanks to vaccine developments, peak-season preparation and rising consumer confidence. These brokers continue to be bullish in raising contract rates with shippers throughout the next six month. More than half, 56%, expect to raise contract rates. 

Per PR Newswire

  • 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.
  • The Bloomberg | survey of survey of freight brokers provides timely channel checks into the market's health. The most recent sample size was 161, consisting of freight forwarders, third-party logistics providers and broker agents, as well as asset and non-asset-based brokers. Most respondents (83%) have 1-50 employees. The majority of those surveyed (51%) were non asset-based brokers.

"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," said 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."