Despite the growing effect of recession and geopolitical unrest, trucking jobs and trucking business still remains at the top of the mountain in America. The complexity and size of the US trucking industry bring various challenges to overcome, year after year. And with 2020 approaching, these four and one of the biggest challenges out there continue to haunt the trucking industry, most of them familiar foes from the past.
Crumbling US Infrastructure
The crumbling and deteriorating infrastructure are one of the most persistent ones that haunt the trucking industry over the years and is nothing new. According to the chairman and CEO of XPO Logistics, Brad Jacobs, the US infrastructure is crumbling and the problem is much more serious than it might look.
From bridges to roads to tunnels, the problem is still widely spread and requires a more reliable plan and action.
Having a reliable infrastructure is not only crucial for operating trucking companies but having a safety element as well, for everyone. While there are spending plans for infrastructure improvement, they won‘t come easy and without any cost which could range from gas prices to general prices. And in the end, the customers will be the ones paying.
Truck Driver Shortage & Recruitment
Trucking recruitment challenges come in many forms, while, in the end, composing a shortage of over 60,000 drivers with estimations for the gap to grow even more in upcoming years.
Despite constant salary growth over the past years, the demand is far from being met and the challenge continues to haunt the industry as we are approaching the year 2020.
Here, at Paul Mark Group it is our mission to contribute to the trucking industry as much as we can, aiding in the recruitment department as well.
High & Variable Costs
Running a trucking company, especially a smaller one with six or fewer trucks still remains one of the most operated businesses in America. Even of the expenses associated with running a trucking company are usually steady and consistent, they still face a challenge within themselves that are both high in variety and cost.
- Fuel – One of the most consistent expenses that vary in price from state to state, and can make up to about a quarter of operating costs on average. Fuel cards, however, has been one of the most efficient ways to save money.
- Lodging – To combat fatigue and other long-haul driving factors, the truck cabins sometimes are replaced by real beds. And the cost of accommodating drivers also comes in with a variety and cost of its own.
- Maintenance & Repairs – Regularly scheduled maintenance is a vital part of any trucking company and the industry itself, with costs that can greatly vary as well. But, even with consistent and scheduled maintenance, unplanned breakdowns and additional repairs are always an occurrence and a challenge to overcome.
Trucking Regulations & Laws
From fuel emission requirements to hours-of-service and E-log devices to many more regulations. How the truck is going to be operated is mostly dictated by the rules set by the government.
Most of those rules are designed to make trucking safer in general, but at the same time, they also tend to create a lot of extra expenses for drivers and fleets which leads to various other challenges in business and marketing areas.
The laws and regulations that are aimed directly at the trucking industry are constantly reviewed and under revision. Combine that with different regulations that each state has, and yet another challenge of operating and adapting is delivered, year after year!