Survey: Truckers’ interest in acquiring carriers rises

Transport Capital Partners LLC (TCP) has recently completed its Business Expectation Survey for the second quarter of 2010, which found that almost half of carriers surveyed are translating optimism for the year ahead into interest in buying another company.

“The present surge of freight and general outlook for improved rates has spiked interest in acquisitions, rising from around mid-30% range by respondents in the prior five quarters to 45% now interested,” said Richard Mikes, TCP partner.

“Carriers across all sizes are interested in buying, but larger carriers are more interested in finding opportunities,” said Lana Batts, managing partner for TCP. Stock values for publicly traded carriers have risen over the past year, reflecting general optimism for transportation firms, though prices have dropped somewhat with the general market recently.

TCP uses the quarterly survey to collect insights and opinions of executives nationwide in order to report on the state of the industry and future expectations.

Surveys over the past year show that carriers have become less interested in selling this quarter.

“The interest in selling has trended somewhat flat after peaking in February a year ago in the thick of dropping rates and volumes,” said Mikes.

When asked in February 2009 if they had considered leaving the industry if tonnage does not increase in the next six months, more than 20% of all carriers said yes. Currently about 20% of small carriers are still replying yes to the question while only 8% of the larger carriers are saying yes.

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