Monday, October 25, 2010

Rates about to rise?

Are we bumping along the bottom right now? Was talking to an equipment salesman who says he's hearing of an owner-operator shortage right now. My very next call was to an owner-operator who said he was getting out of car hauling because the rates were ridiculously low. Just a hunch, but I'm beginning to think the supply-demand curve may be starting to flip. Companies with new car contracts may go into next year's negotiations with a bit stronger hand.
10/26/10: Update
Just read this on Marketwatch:

Last month, Ford sold 160,873 vehicles, up from 109,939 a year earlier — marking the 23rd time in the past 24 months that the company has expanded its share of the retail market.

Ford is looking to maintain its momentum, even as rivals find their footing and become more competitive. In fact, the company announced Monday that it will invest an additional $850 million in Michigan between 2011 and 2013 as part of a plan to upgrade its facilities. Click here for rest of article.

Ford started their recovery plan about two years before the collapse-bailout of GM and Chrysler. If GM and Chrysler's restructuring approximate that of Ford, we should expect significant improvement over the next couple years as their changes have a chance to grow deeper roots and as the economy continues its slow slog out of the quagmire.