Sky Is Not Falling

Contrary to recent prophesies by freight transportation analysts and other industry pundits, a capacity crunch in the U.S. trucking industry is not imminent.

That was the conclusion Reynolds Hutchins of the Journal of Commerce came to in his article published earlier in January. A full version of the story is available to subscribers on the JOC web site.

But for those of you who don’t subscribe to the magazine, here’s a short cliff note courtesy of the folks at FTR, including Larry Gross, a senior transportation analyst, who was quoted by Hutchins in his story.  Gross likened himself and other industry analysts to Chicken Little.

“Some shippers have gotten tired of hearing from folks like ourselves who keep saying things are going to be tighter,” Gross told JOC.com. “This forecasting business is difficult.”

While FTR predicts a tightening of capacity by the middle of 2017, the term “crunch” is far from how Gross or others would describe the situation. Instead, Gross said he sees ever larger inventories in some industries continue to build at warehouses until shippers can improve their ability to forecast sales and track goods as they move through the supply chain. Inventories will continue to pile up even though some in the industry see a big drawdown in warehouse stocks.