Shippers optimistic on freight volumes in 2021
A survey of shippers shows optimism that freight volumes will increase this year. In its sixth annual State of The North American Supply Chain Survey, Averitt Express surveyed about 1,800 shippers from a wide variety of industries throughout North America.
The survey, conducted late last year, consisted of a series of questions aimed at gauging the supply chain challenges that shippers experienced in 2020. They were also asked questions to measure the use of and interest in various supply chain services in comparison to data taken from the previous years’ surveys.
The company said the most significant question asked was whether businesses foresee an increase or decrease in shipping volumes for the upcoming year.
“This year’s results revealed the largest jump in shipper confidence since we began the survey six years ago,” the report said. “Of those surveyed, 73.44 percent expected to ship more in 2021 — a 7.21 percentage point increase from the year before.”
It also noted, however, that the previous year’s survey results marked the lowest confidence level recorded in the survey’s six-year history.
Other conclusions included:
- Nearly 25 percent of respondents struggled with capacity challenges last year, compared to a little more than 12 percent that reported issues in 2019.
- About 29 percent viewed trade tariffs as having a negative impact on their business last year (a significant decrease of 14.5 percentage points from the previous year) in comparison to 8.4 percent of respondents who reported positive effects – an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the previous year. Another 63.2 percent felt unsure, which is an increase of 12 percentage points from the previous year.