We just published our fourth annual DAT® Broker Benchmark Survey, which reveals significant growth in our marketplace in 2011. Brokers moved an average of 19% more loads in 2011 than they did in 2010, and their average revenue per load increased 11%. That’s pretty remarkable, compared to other economic indicators for the year, such as a 1.7% increase in GDP or the more robust 5.7% growth in for-hire truck freight tonnage.
Survey respondents reported an increase in rates as well as load volume, to yield a 31% average increase in revenue, year over year. Average margins remained stable at 15% for non-asset brokers. The smallest firms (under $1 million in revenue) reported an increase from 14.8% in 2010 to 15.3% in 2011. Broker-carriers also saw a substantial increase in margins, from 15.0% in 2010 to 15.5% in 2011.
Interestingly, only a small percentage of brokers on DAT were affected by capacity issues, according to the survey. Only one in four non-asset brokers were forced to turn down loads, even during their busiest seasons. And those who reported turning down loads blamed staffing and pricing issues, not a capacity shortage. We’re always sorry to hear about anyone losing a business opportunity, but at the same time, it was gratifying to know that our customers are able to find trucks on DAT Load Boards even when industry analysts say a shortage is looming.
Three out of four non-asset brokers surveyed were able to handle all the loads they were offered, and nearly two-thirds could have handled more loads in 2011, according to the fourth annual Broker Benchmark Survey conducted by TransCore DAT in January 2012.
For survey details, download the full DAT Broker Benchmark Survey report or pick up a copy at TIA in the DAT booth, #201.