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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Freight Haulers Prepare for "Nuclear Winter"

by Calculated Risk on 12/10/2008 11:38:00 PM

From the WSJ: Freight Haulers Slam on the Brakes

In a normal year, Gordon Trucking Inc. might replace 20% of its fleet of 1,500 big rigs with new trucks. But given the bleak outlook for the freight business, the Pacific, Wash., hauler doesn't intend to buy a single new truck next year.

"We're settling in for nuclear winter in the first half of 2009," says Steve Gordon, operating chief for the company ...
A common theme these days - reduced capital spending - and in this case a reduction from 300 trucks annually to zero for this trucking company.

In most industries it is the capital equipment companies that really get hit in a business downturn. For freight, it is manufacturers of tractor trailers, rail cars and ships.