With the exception of expenditures for less-than-truckload (LTL) services, most small to mid-sized shippers don't plan to expand their logistics or capital spending budgets in 2011, according to the results of a survey released June 28 by regional trucker Saia Inc.
Forty-six percent of the 385 respondents—mostly top executives of companies with 500 or fewer employees—said they plan to increase their budgets for LTL services this year. However, only 20 percent said they would spend more on truckload services. About 19 percent said they would use more expedited shipping, and 13 percent said they would spend more on international services. Only 2 percent said they would increase their budgets to engage more third-party logistics services, according to the report.
About 65 percent of respondents said the health of the U.S. economy was their top concern in 2011. That was followed by fuel costs at 23 percent and health insurance issues at 15 percent. Some 39 percent said their capital expenditures (capex) in 2011 would be unchanged from 2010; 33 percent said their capex spending would be higher, and 28 percent said it would be less than in 2010. In addition, 72 percent said they would not increase current staffing levels during the next 12 months.
More than 60 percent of the respondents said they don't have buffer inventories or alternate parts and materials suppliers that could step in should they suffer a business disruption due to a natural disaster or other emergency, the report said.