A Shipper’s Guide in a Carrier’s Market

With a 7-to-1 available load to truck ratio, an increasing driver shortage, regulations putting intolerance on driver detainment, and capacity continuing to tighten, carriers are being careful when selecting which shippers and consignees that they want to conduct business with and at what price.

Feeling the squeeze:

*July, which is typically the weakest month for trailer orders, more than doubled its numbers year-over-year and is expected to bypass 1994’s record numbers for the month, as carriers are ordering equipment for 2019 earlier than usual with a backlog at a 20 year high. (1) 

*Add to that the driver shortage, which is expected to reach 175,000 by 2024, according to the American Trucking Associations, making drivers a hot commodity.  With regulations, such as electronic logging devices now in effect, the last thing drivers want is be detained at a dock, which jeopardizes their productivity, pay, and ability to get back to the terminal before their hours-of-service are up, as their clock is still ticking whether they are driving or waiting to be loaded/unloaded.  Unhappy drivers will not stick around and many have a list of shippers/consignees that they refuse to go into due to historical wait times.

*Now throw in there a deteriorating infrastructure which causes further unprecedented traffic delays for truckers. 

What does this all boil down to?  Capacity, capacity, capacity.  Carriers cannot find drivers, trucks, or even repairs for those trucks that do break down without being put on a long waiting list.  Many large manufacturers have already noted their inability to get product off of their docks and are finding themselves paying a king’s ransom just to put their product on the shelves and that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

As a shipper, you may be wondering what you could do to become a shipper of choice among carriers and help lessen the capacity blow when moving your products in a timely fashion.  That’s why Road Scholar Transport created the below Guide to Becoming the Shipper of Choice in a Carrier’s MarketDownload your copy here.

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