Lift trucks: Solving the financial puzzle
Own, lease, or rent? According to lift truck consultants, the method that businesses pay for lift trucks tends to be a sound economic indicator. Here’s how distributors are working to solve the complex needs of today’s fleet owner.
If an analyst told you that a market was in recovery, you’d probably think that was good news. Not so fast. If you were talking about the lift truck market you’d have to get beyond the complexity first. In fact, some business analysts see recovery being as problematic as the recession when it comes to lift trucks.
George Keen is one of those. Keen’s a senior consultant with Currie Management Consultants, a Worcester, Mass.-based firm that specializes in distributor business enhancement strategies. Keen sees the lift truck market as a remarkably complex puzzle, as challenging to understand for sellers as it is for buyers.
According to Keen, customers’ purchasing philosophy and behaviors evolve over time as a market matures.
The problem with lift trucks is that although they are mature products, they employ some of the most leading-edge technologies around—from computers and sensors to alternative power sources.
This leads to unpredictable buying patterns and competing approaches to selling. Depending on their needs, buyers may make their lift truck selection based on product innovation, price, total value, or total cost of ownership. Keen sees these as phases.
About the Author
Tom Andel is a Contributing Editor to Logistics Management
Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine
As was the case for the second quarter, third quarter earnings results for publicly-traded less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are again strong. Signs of solid earnings results from carriers that have posted earnings to date include tonnage increases, gains in weight per shipment and average daily shipments, higher yield, and revenue per hundredweight.
While the holiday season is known to bring good tidings and cheer to all, it may also come with another thing that is not so pleasant: higher rate freights. That was the thesis of a commentary written by Mark Montague, industry pricing analyst and chief market-watcher for DAT, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of TransCore.
Earlier this week, FedEx said it is expanding its International First service for early deliveries with the addition of 31 new origin countries, which will bring the total number of origin markets for the service to 97.
Monday, December 22 is pegged as UPS's peak delivery day, as the company expects to deliver more than 34 million packages that day, adding that it expects to see six days in December top last year’s peak shipment day delivery record of 31 million packages.
The time has come again for less-than-truckload (LTL) general rate increases (GRI), with various carriers recently announced their respective rate hikes in recent days.