In another sign that weak trucking demand is keeping a tight lid on rates, less-thantruckload carrier Averitt Express says it will forego a general rate increase during 2009. Averitt says it is the only carrier that, at least through the end of January, has publicly announced it will not impose a general rate increase.
Brad Brown, Averitt's marketing director, said six rivals— UPS Freight, FedEx Freight, YRC National, Con-way Transportation, Estes Express Lines, and Saia Inc.—have announced general increases of more than 5 percent. "We also heard from other LTL competitors who had not announced their increase as yet but said they would definitely have one this year," he says. "We can't say no one else is going to do it, but we haven't found anyone else who has announced it yet."
Satish Jindel, president of Pittsburgh-based SJ Consulting, says the LTL sector takes rate actions between March and May, so the door remains open. Jindel adds that virtually every LTL shipper negotiates rates with its carriers, and no one pays the general or "tariff" rate.
One trucker not planning a general rate increase in 2009 is Pitt Ohio Express, a Pittsburghbased regional trucker serving the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. That's nothing new; Pitt Ohio has not taken a general rate increase since 2004.