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In the wake of year-end financial report rollouts for publicly traded trucking companies, an assessment of 2015 was possible. According to truckinginfo.com and John Larkin, managing director of equity research of transportation and logistics at the investment banking and financial services firm Stifel, “2015 was probably characterized as disappointing on the heels of a very strong and robust 2014.” Larkin attributes the downturn to larger economic forces such as the strength of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, low energy prices and an inventory glut across supply chains. The good news is that dedicated trucking firms seemed to fare better; shippers see increasing truck regulation in the future that will tighten capacity and want to secure load and cost arrangements ahead of time. As for 2016, Larkin “doesn’t see things improving much.” Without a surge in Spring and early Summer goods movement, the outlook for 2016 may be sluggish.

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