Many issues affecting truckers have been constant for more than a century. Better roads, improved maintenance, and hazards of the road have always been topics of conversation for as long as there have been truck stop diners.
According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry is short nearly 63,000 drivers with that number expanding to over 270,000 for the entire Class 8 truck market according to FTR Transportation Intelligence.(1,2) Capacity tightened this year with enforcement of the ELD mandate in April and is expected to worsen by 2020 when carriers must comply with the online driver drug testing database.(3) Within the next 10 years, the industry is expected to be short 890,000 drivers.(4)
There's no doubt that trucking is a busy industry right now, but what do you make of the conflicting reports that are coming out? More shipments, fewer truckers, more trucks: it's a bit difficult to sort it all out. Here's a quick look at a couple of stats that came out recently along with our take on what's actually happening in the market.
Earlier this month, Javier Macias filed a suit against Garner Trucking for an accident occurring on Nov. 15, 2017 in which his 2007 Honda Civic was struck by cargo that had fallen off of one of Garner Trucking’s tractor trailers. Macias, who was seriously injured, is looking for $100,000 in compensation.(1)
If you're wondering what's up with this digitization thing, you're not alone. The transformation is impacting virtually every industry, including shipping. We're seeing changes that will not only impact our current situation, but long into the future. One change that is here to stay is the trend towards ship-to-home options. Here's a quick look at how this trend is helping drive LTL growth in the market.
If you noticed that there seems to be a few more bare shelves or delays in stocking items at your local stores this spring, you're not alone. The increasing growth and recovery in the economy has led to two specific issues that are impacting supply chain and cost: increased consumer demand and fewer truck drivers to haul the loads being shipped. It's expected that the industry will be short 63,000 drivers this year. But how do you handle truck driver shortages to keep your supply chain moving? Here's a quick look at some options to consider.
Last Thursday, Reps. Rick Crawford, Sanford Bishop, and Bruce Westerman introduced the Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act (HOURS Act). If passed, the Act would provide changes to the hours-of-service regulations, allowing drivers more flexibility, especially those running short-hauls. Here are some key sectors that would be affected:
The trucking industry is now preparing for Phase 3 of the Electronic Logging Device legislation that began the implementation process on February 16, 2015. The legislation to better control hours-of-service reporting was set to phase in after the final ELD rules were published in December of 2015 with a compliance date of December 2017.
Rhode Island Tolls
Three years ago, a proposal was brought forth that would install toll fees on trucks traveling within Rhode Island as part of a $5-billion RhodeWorks Infrastructure Plan. The tolls kicked off this week, charging truckers $3.25 and $3.50 near exits 2 and 5 on I-95. While only charging truckers “once per day in each direction,” opponents are rallying against the tolls arguing that truckers should not have to endure the entire burden when they make up only 2% of the traffic on that strip of the interstate (1, 2). Additionally, congestion will get even worse as trucks try to avoid toll roads. According to The Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell stated that truckers were “more than likely” to take court action against the tolls. (3)
It's no secret that trucking costs are rising, but there are several factors causing the increases. The biggest ones are fuel, labor, pay, equipment, and healthcare, all of which have seen jumps in recent years. Because all of these areas are climbing when it comes to costs, some companies are really struggling to stay afloat. It's hurting businesses, the trucking industry as a whole, and the people who rely on having their goods shipped across the city or across the country. No matter how far a truck needs to travel, it has to be cost effective for it to do so or it won't be going anywhere.
Companies such as Hasbro, Kellogg, and Tyson Foods have been in the news recently speaking on the impact that higher freight costs are having on their bottom line, with Tyson’s CEO Tom Hayes noting that the company’s shipping costs are expected to grow by $250 million this year. In fact, according to DAT Solutions, the cost per mile for spot rates is up 29% year-over year and tightened capacity is definitely one of the culprits.(1)
Internet of Things, 3D printing, sensors, self-driving vehicles, electric logs: if there's one thing that stays the same in shipping and logistics, it's that everything changes. One big change in logistics that will reshape how we do business is the impact digitization will have on our industry. But even though it's a huge buzzword right now, many people in logistics don't know what digitization will mean to our industry. Here's a brief overview to help get you started.
Imagine docking your trailer at a shipper’s facility, asking to use the restroom while you are waiting, and being denied. Better yet, imagine being told to go relieve yourself behind your own trailer “like everybody else does,” by one of the employees. So was the case a few years back when one driver made headlines for the treatment he received at a food packaging facility. The facility later told the driver that they would be changing their policy within the next month to allow drivers to use their facilities’ restrooms.
A partnership between the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the National Transportation Institute (NIT) surveyed companies regarding the number of women in the industry, finding the figure to increase in 2017. In order to track information regarding the benefits, driver wages, retirement plans and other data, the two organizations surveyed hundreds of trucking firms. According to the information that was gathered, the percentage of women drivers rose in 2017 from 7.13 percent at the beginning of the year to 7.89 percent at the end. The presence of women in management also increased in 2017 from 23 percent to 23.75 percent.