2010 Mid-year rate outlook: Paying a Premium

While the extent of the recovery remains uncertain, shippers will continue to be hit with rate increases across all modes.

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In the earlier stages of the downward economic trend of the past two years, analysts were initially reluctant to use the dreaded “R-word.” But now it seems as if they’re equally wary about using another “R-word,” but this time it’s “recovery.”

“We seem to be enjoying a burst of growth, but the fundamentals aren’t there,” says David Jacoby, president of supply chain consulting firm Boston Strategies International.

“The job growth is largely in temp work and there has even been a slowing of this as we approached the middle of the year.”

Jacoby adds that corporate investment is also lagging as companies are conservatively hedging their bets since many don’t see this as a sustainable growth situation—at least not yet. “This is not necessarily a dangerous scenario, but it’s a disappointing one,” he says.

Forecasts of GDP growth are hesitant and cautionary as well, according to Paul Bingham, managing director of trade and transportation at IHS Global Insight.

According to Bingham, real growth is forecast to be up 3.4 percent this year in contrast to the negative 2.4 percent of 2009, but the pace is expected to slow back to 2.8 percent in 2011.

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