The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently released its projections for the industry, stating it to be strong for at least the next 18 months. The chief economist at the ATA, Bob Costello, noted that three major factors have come together to provide a solid future for the freight industry: strong online sales growth, low unemployment and booming housing starts. In fact, Costello told a group of investors via a conference call that not since 2010, when the country was recovering from the recession, have these factors come together to provide a concrete environment.
Driver Shortage: Driver capacity is at its lowest since 2005, with a ratio of one truck being available for every 12 loads so far this year, according to DAT Solutions. (1) With the ELD mandate taking effect last month, drivers retiring and the struggle to recruit the younger generation, as well as government regulations such as hours-of-service, the American Trucking Associates reported that the industry will need nearly 900,000 additional drivers to satisfy demand. (2) This capacity crunch has caused many shippers to either delay shipments or pay more to get their freight moved.