Survey shows US carriers still not pleased with election outcome
Dec 19, 2012 10:49 AM
Results from Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) Fourth Quarter 2012 Business Expectations survey found that a vast majority of carriers are not happy with the outcome of the presidential election. While Obama won, he received 4.2 million fewer popular votes and 33 fewer electoral votes than in 2008.
The nation may have been split on who they wanted to win, but the trucking industry was not. In fact, 93% of carrier executives surveyed indicated they were not happy with the presidential election outcome. Amazingly, 9% of smaller carriers who are primarily sole proprietors or LLCs and the poster child for the Republican Party, were happy with the presidential outcome compared to only 1% of the larger carriers.
“The carriers’ response was a surprise in terms of the magnitude of dissatisfaction, but was reflective of TCP's conversations in the last month with both carriers and suppliers,” says Richard Mikes, TCP partner. “There is a general pause evident throughout the industry.”
Not only did the elections not provide a clear road map or mandate, the looming “fiscal cliff” has added more uncertainty to everyone’s business and personal decisions. “Trucking is a demand driven industry,” says Steven Dutro, a partner with TCP. “Carrier executives know that if consumers and business are uncertain about the economy, in general, and their own personal finances, in particular, they will not be buying goods. It’s not surprising that carriers are unwilling to risk their own capital if their customers are also sitting on theirs.”
Fifty-two percent of surveyed carriers indicated they are not making plans until they find out how the fiscal cliff will be handled. Larger carriers were more inclined to not let the election results affect their plans than smaller carriers (30% versus 23%).
“Most carriers are in a ‘parked’ mode and decisions are either deferred or changing until the cliff is addressed,” Mikes says. “The lack of tax decisions is impacting M&A (merger and acquisition) activity as the year closes, and many deals are being pressured as buyers and sellers are uncertain about what 2013 holds for them,” say Mikes and Dutro.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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