8-21-13 8:30 AM EDT | Email Article

According to transportation executives, the forecasts and business strategies of carriers and manufacturers of transport-oriented capital goods indicate the industry is bracing for an era of higher energy prices and increased regulations. These are just some of the key findings found in “Transportation Outlook” (cit.com/TransportationOutlook), a new study released today by CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of customized leasing and financing to end-users of aircraft, locomotives, railcars and ships. The study was conducted by Forbes Insights on behalf of CIT.

“This study highlights the fact that transportation executives are preparing for a future of uncertainty, both in terms of fuel prices and regulations,” said Jeff Knittel, President of CIT Transportation Finance. “In doing so, they are implementing strategic business plans in response to the potential for a protracted era of higher energy costs and growing concern regarding current and proposed emissions regulations.”

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Fuel prices and rising energy costs are impacting the global economy: More than eight out of 10 (81%) executives say uncertainty surrounding energy policies is hampering global economic recovery. Eighty percent say that today’s higher fuel costs are reducing global economic growth. Transportation executives believe the global economy is poised for a protracted period of increasing energy costs. More than six out of 10 (63%) believe prices will increase over the next 18 months, 78% expect prices to increase over the next three years, and 69% believe prices will increase over the next five years – 38% say significantly.
  • Regulations from the United States, EU and other governments are hurting consumers: Sixty-six percent of respondents say government policies have driven energy prices higher. Efforts to combat perceived long-term climate change run counter to a near-term economic growth agenda. More than eight out of 10 (83%) agree that relatively high fuel prices are contributing to higher consumer costs, and 81% agree that higher fuel prices are impacting consumer spending in other categories.
  • Regulatory activism over emissions is cause for concern: Roughly three out of four (76%) transportation executives are concerned by current and proposed emission regulations, and 47% say that the state of emission regulation is contributing to higher energy costs – a figure that rises to 64% among trucking companies. Overall, 86% say such emission regulations are adding to operating costs. Moreover, 79% say regulatory actions are forcing their companies to increase spending on capital equipment.
  • Carriers and their customers forge strategic responses, as do manufacturers of transportation equipment: Nearly half(47%) of carriers say their customers are working more closely with third-party logistics groups to optimize transportation costs, and 35% say their customers are relocating production or warehousing for the same reason. Nonetheless, 31% say they see customers encountering financial duress as a result of energy costs, 81% say they are updating their fleets to be more energy efficient and 79% say they are doing more to promote their sector’s energy efficiency relative to other transportation modes.
    • More than three out of four (77%) manufacturers are working to develop vessels, trucks and rolling stock that are more energy efficient. Sixty-four percent are investing in new plants expressly for this purpose — 24% extensively. And 84% say they are working more closely with transportation companies to “engineer” greater transportation efficiency.
  • Oil and natural gas are the most critical fuels: Ninety-four percent of executives consider oil an important fuel for their company, while 90% say the same of natural gas. The figures drop sharply for coal: only 55% use the fuel and only 34% extensively. However, 76% of rail respondents say the fuel is important, presumably reflecting its value as freight. Worth noting, the larger the company, the greater the tendency to more highly value each energy source.

Complimentary copies of the report can be downloaded at cit.com/TransportationOutlook.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Watch the CIT corporate overview video (cit.com/corporatevideo) that showcases CIT’s support of the small business, middle market and transportation sectors.

Follow us on Twitter: @citgroup; on LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/company/cit; on YouTube: YouTube.com/citgroupvideo; and on Facebook: facebook.com/citgroup. Individuals interested in receiving corporate news releases can register at cit.com/newsalerts or subscribe to the RSS feed at cit.com/rss.

About the Study

The study, which was conducted in the summer of 2013 by Forbes Insights, included insight into the views and strategic plans of middle market ($25 million - $1 billion in annual sales) transportation companies. The sample comprises four sectors: aerospace/airlines, maritime, trucking and rail. While most of the 209 responses come from freight and passenger carriers, the survey also features a strong showing from manufacturers and broker/dealers (from the aforementioned sectors).

About Forbes Insights

Forbes Insights is the strategic research and Thought Leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com, whose combined media properties reach nearly 50 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management. forbes.com/forbesinsights

About CIT

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $35billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides financing and leasing capital and advisory services to its clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and vendor finance. CIT operates CIT Bank (Member FDIC), its primary bank subsidiary, which, through its online bank BankOnCIT.com, offers a suite of savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals. cit.com

CIT MEDIA RELATIONS:
C. Curtis Ritter
Director of Corporate Communications
(973) 740-5390
Curt.Ritter@cit.com
or
Matt Klein
Vice President, Media Relations
(973) 597-2020
Matt.Klein@cit.com
or
CIT INVESTOR RELATIONS:
Ken Brause
Executive Vice President
(212) 771-9650
Ken.Brause@cit.com
or
FORBES INSIGHTS:
Mia Carbonell
Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications
(212) 620-2288
mcarbonell@forbes.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013
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