Yes, the trucking industry may still be way behind on fulfilling their needs for truck drivers, and those challenges to acquire them continue to linger around, but that doesn‘t mean the trucking industry has forgotten them. And October was a month that proved that big time. Compared to other months, such as August or September, the previous month of October was a delightful period of time for truck drivers and here‘s why!
October proved to be a delightful month for the economy as a whole, as we saw modest growth in the economy. And on top of that, 128,000 jobs were added as well, with sectors like construction industry opening 10,000 spots alone.
But it is all about the trucking industry, and it joined the party as well, with its own numbers which may not be the best, but it is a quite big improvement.
After a devastating 4,300-job loss in September and three straight months of decline, October turned out better than expected and bounced back with an approximate of 1,300 payroll jobs in the trucking industry
In our previous blog post, we mentioned how big companies like Saia lead by example and spark positive news in the trucking industry.
And it is once again Saia who is flashing on the news. This time they contributed to an increase in trucking jobs and opened new opportunities for truck drivers in the month of October.
Whether it is the new Indianapolis terminal or various other terminals opening in Northeast and expanding the already large boundaries of one of the most iconic trucking companies in the US.
These new terminals brought new jobs with them, including driver jobs.
Together with a delightful wave of trucking jobs that arrived in October, some truck drivers also saw their wages getting a boost.
Melton Truck Lines, for example, raised pay for their drivers on October 15 to stay competitive in the industry and those top-ups are based on a few factors such as road experience and mileage.
But fortunately, Melton wasn‘t the only one as CoreTrans, a company based in Kentucky that operates a fleet of 135 trucks also announced a five-cent-per-mile increase with a few additional bonuses to accompany the salary increase.
New hirings and salary boosts are power move no doubt, but there are smaller things happening in the trucking world too. They may not be as noticeable, yet the impact can be just as profound.
There are companies like Mapleton that offer their new drivers $50 for the groceries in their first run. It might not seem like much from the first glance, but it really does help the transition from a new job for the driver and adds great value to the company.
And how about those new CDL programs popping up in various locations such as New Jersey, Michigan and more? A beautiful training program that helps veterans acquire Class A CDL license and fill in those needed positions in the trucking industry.
adminNovember 6, 20196:43 amEntering November With 3 Positive Steps in the US Trucking Industry
From fatal crashes and accidents happening every single day to haunting challenges for the trucking industry to intense geopolitical and economic conditions. There‘s no secret that finding something positive today is a difficult task. But as hard and scary current times might seem for both the US economy and the trucking industry, there‘s always a light that shines through. And it is more than important to catch positivity, as it inspires and motivates us to do great things and strive for success. Enter the month of November with us, while following these 3 steps that left a positive footprint on the US trucking industry recently.
It feels like the recession is always lurking around the corner, as many companies are going bankrupt, jobs being swept away and incomes are sinking down. But that doesn‘t mean it is all bad news in the US trucking industry.
To keep moving forward, we must acknowledge the positive aspects that sometimes might be overwhelmed by a number of negative and sometimes even shocking news making the headlines.
Saia for example, one of the iconic trucking companies that originated back in 1924 in Houma, Louisiana and nestled in the top 30 among 100 of the largest carriers in the country today made the news recently as it posted a 37th consecutive quarter growth.
Saia is expanding rapidly and went above the numbers compared to last year‘s same quarter of 2018.
Net income recorded a $32.9 million or $1.27 a share which defeats $28.2 million or $1.09 a share from last year with ease. And when it comes to revenue it is a positive leap of 10.2% from $425.5 million to $468.9 million today.
The economy of the United States is largely tied to the trucking industry, and fortunately, there are some positive winds blowing into the economic sector.
Intense situations like a trade war with China and political turmoil overall got many economists worrying, but despite modest and slow growth, it is still an economic growth that surpassed many expectations.
The Commerce Department data showcases the GDP growth at 1.9% during the three months which comes ahead of the 1.6% that was predicted. Yet, the growth is still the slowest for 2019 and compared to 3.4% growth of last year‘s third quarter is seemingly low.
These figures play into a continuing problem for US economic growth. But despite that, this was still a reasonable growth in overall perspective and falls in line with many estimates, forecasts, and predictions of the US economy’s realistic potential.
Those who seek shall find. And if you‘re dug a little deeper, there’s always something interesting and positive to discover within the big and dynamic trucking industry of the US.
As some carriers close their doors some are being born and news reports show that intriguing trends are happening in the US trucking market with fresh opportunities brought by investors and operators of unlikely backgrounds to run a business in the trucking industry.
From a professional NFL Football player to Enterprise Holdings manager and co-founder of Squeezed Juice Company, the Jelani Hawkins, CEO of a successful company named Fat Richard Trucking, LLC out of Houston, Texas, comes in as a prime example. A non-traditional background for a trucking company founder didn‘t stop him from becoming a successful businessman in this dynamic field spreading an exemplary inspiration for those who seek to thrive in this challenging industry.
Truly, an inspiring and intriguing story that casts a promising feeling for the future of the US and the trucking industry as we enter the last months of 2019.
adminOctober 24, 20194:52 am3 Key Fuel & Oil Reports You Might Have Missed Recently
Trucking Industry is gigantic & dynamic, and that goes way beyond USA borders. But what happens thousands of miles away, can impact America’s Trucking & Oil Industries greatly, both negatively and positively. Geopolitical events, large markets, and oil companies are all blended together in the fast-paced movement of news that sometimes seems to flash by one after the other. As fuel will continue to be a vital part of tracking movement, these 3 intriguing and impactful fuel & oil reports that happened recently will reveal some of the biggest news flashes that you might have missed.
Mexico made some news reports quite recently in the dynamic world and industry of USA Trucking which was caused by its strongly growing fuel demand.
As even state-owned oil companies such as Petroleos Mexicanos struggle to meet Mexico’s consumption needs, the US exporters are more and more relying on the trucking industry to get fuel delivered into Mexico as their gasoline production and infrastructure is facing hard times. From declining refinery output to private companies being forced to shut down due to lack of supply and beyond, reasons come out strong and diverse.
According to EIA, in the result of such events, the imports of U.S. crude and oil products have increased every year since 2014, reaching as high as 1,377 thousand barrels a day in November 2017!
Transporting fuel by truck is a small but growing piece of the trucking business.
Most of the talks that surround IMO 2020 has been circling around the fact that nothing major has happened in the oil markets so far. But as refineries come off their heavy maintenance season it is common to see price movements.
One of the signs of IMO 2020 preparation is the five-year high vacuum Gasoil price relative to Brent. And the high vacuum gas oil is a key element not only in making low sulfur oil but gasoline and diesel as well, which brings the assumption that when IMO 2020 starts, the prices of high vacuum gas oil will go up.
With many other factors lingering in as well, the irony is that America’s diesel consumers could be impacted by IMO 2020 even when the USA is not a significant bunkering port. But diesel, like all other petroleum products, is a global market and once winds of change blow through the bunker market, that could swing the entire fuel supply chain.
In the aftermath of the attacks on Saudi oil, which was hard to miss on the news, the U.S. Trucking Industry average retail gasoline price sky-rocketed by more than 10 cents per gallon. And between September 16 and September 23—the largest weekly increase in gas prices took place since early September 2017, when Hurricane Harvey’s impact caused gas prices to jump by 28 cents/gallon in one week.
The event of this magnitude was expected to increase the U.S. prices at the pump. Especially considering the fact that on the first full day of trading after the attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure swept away 5 percent of global oil supply while Brent Crude prices jumped by $7.17 a barrel from the previous trading day.
But, despite all of this, Saudi Arabia has been surprisingly early and efficient to restore its oil production capacity to pre-attack levels, which stretches to 11.3 million barrels per day.
adminOctober 17, 20192:36 pm4 Biggest Challenges Haunting The US Trucking Industry Approaching 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
adminOctober 10, 20193:58 pmHow Recession is Impacting the US Trucking Industry in 2019
America is heading for a downturn, and recent freight recession shows that clearly as trucking is often regarded as a leading indicator of the rest of the US economy with 71% of America‘s freight being moved by trucks. From trade wars to manufacturers producing less, many factors came in to create a turbulent recession that struck the giant US Trucking Industry, with some calling it a bloodbath. On the other hand, these bad signs in the trucking industry don’t necessarily mean that the rest of the country‘s economy is on a crash course as the freight industry is known for going into recession as twice as often as the rest of the economy. Yet, the impact is undeniable, and here you will see how an $800 billion industry is impacted by the recent recession, and who is paying the price the most.
US Trucking industry has been hit by a meteor shower of challenges and obstacles in 2019, making an already difficult situation even more unfortunate, especially for those who own trucking companies.
According to data from Broughton Capital LLC not only trucking rates have stalled out in the month of July, falling 0.1% from the prior year after a 27-month run of annual increases, but approximately 640 trucking companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2019. And that’s more than triple of bankruptcies compared to the first half of 2018!
The recession is forcing even the veterans in the business such as Ready Trucking Company operating since 1968, and many other businesses, including large ones like HVH Transportation alongside their 324 truck drivers.
Alongside bankrupting companies comes a devastating follow up of unemployment, leaving thousands of truck drivers without a job. Adding an already decisive punch to the US Trucking Industry‘s shortage of drivers.
Following various federal reports and news, it is confirmed now that truckers are losing their jobs by the thousands due to recession. Around 5,100 trucking jobs were lost in the month of August alone this year making it the biggest drop since April of 2018.
It is the first reported slash in trucking payrolls since March.
While last year trucking was incredibly profitable boasting exceptional high rates and record-low bankruptcies, this year, however, is a complete opposite.
If not bankruptcy, then a significant sinking of income strikes some companies such as USA Truck Inc. The company says one of the main culprits is declining spot rates by as much as 18% which resulted in USA Truck Inc.’s net income to sink from $2.5 million in the second quarter of 2018 all the way to a shocking $1,000 in profit by the second quarter of 2019.
And that‘s only one example out of many who are struggling at the moment.
adminOctober 5, 201912:46 pm3 Major Reasons Why Trucking Industry Carries US On Its Shoulders
Sometimes, it might seem like shelves in supermarkets, every furniture shop, every restaurant and beyond, are always filled with everything you expect, almost effortlessly. But that is nothing more than a one big and dynamic movement of America‘s giant trucking industry. Trucking moves over 70% of all the freight in the United States of America while generating hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue. As the trucking industry serves as a bridge between producers and consumers, a vital bridge of our modern-day lives, here at Paul Mark Group we believe it is more than important to participate in aiding the trucking industry, whether it’s through helping companies find qualified drivers or vice versa. And when experts say it would only take 3 days for most stores to start running out of food if long-haul truckers stopped working, you truly start to realize why trucking industry holds significance of such importance in the US. Possibly much bigger than one might have imagined!
Almost everything you‘ll find and see in America‘s homes, supermarkets and shops are delivered exclusively by trucking industry with statistics that speak volumes and are hard to match.
Stunning Tonnage of 10.8 billion freight was moved in 2017, but even that was topped by a massive 11.49 billion tons of freight that were transported by trucks in 2018. The weight moved in 2018 represented 71.4% of total domestic tonnage shipped in the US with over 25% increased tonnage projected by 2030.
With freight movement of such scale, comes milage of over 100,00 miles a year for a single trucker, which results in almost 300 billion miles traveled by all registered trucks. Wow!
The U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that as of May 2019, the number of for-hire carriers totaled in 892,078 while private carriers can be counted up to 772,011. And these numbers lead us straight to the employment importance of the trucking industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were approximately 129 million full-time jobs in the United States of America of which approximately 7.4 million were coming from the trucking industry.
That equals to around 5.8% of all American full-time workers! Even Walmart started to employ its own trucks and today has more than 8000 truckers.
The revenue the US trucking industry makes is simply massive and still grows every year with big significance.
While the industry generated an impressive number of $676.2 billion in 2016, the following year it leaped all the way to $700.3 billion. But if you thought that was a jump of the year, in 2018 the US trucking industry made $796.7 billion in revenue! Which represents over 80% of the nation’s freight bill in 2018.
If the US trucking industry were a nation in 2017, according to CIA Factbook, it would rank 33rd, higher than countries like Sweden, Belgium or Austria, and just slightly less than South Africa and Colombia. How about that?
adminSeptember 26, 20192:48 pmTrucking Recruitment Waves & Challenges in 2019
The transportation industry is generally known for its attractive salary and stability, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a piece of cake for trucking companies to fill those empty positions. Qualified candidates can afford to be picky, which brings employers new challenges every year to attract them, and keep them long-term. But that is just a tip of an iceberg, as many other obstacles appear such as demographic changes, modern technologies, rise of social media and many others. Trucking recruitment comes in waves of challenges in 2019 more than ever before with many new strategies, trends, statistics, and many other factors to pay attention to.
To fully unveil and understand the situation behind recruitment difficulties in the trucking industry, numerous studies have been made to dig in behind the scenes. From various fleet types and sizes, some of the trucking industry leaders revealed the biggest recruiting challenges and its trends.
In today’s age, it is all about numbers as these are some of the most challenging obstacles in trucking recruitment that were uncovered.
As the trucking industry continues to deal with a growing shortage of drivers and difficulties this situation presents, the transportation companies are using more tech-oriented recruitment strategies and are trying to adapt and continuously change the approach.
Recent surveys found that employers that are willing to reward their employees with more flexibility tend to earn greater loyalty, especially from millennial workers. Organizations that implemented such tactics had a positive impact on their financial performance.
Trucking companies are also using new strategies such as wellness more and more. The main goal is to appeal to more younger workers and combat the perception that long-haul trucking is an unhealthy job with high rates of obesity across the industry and the country.
According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), the industry will need hire almost a million new drivers before 2024 and the retirements are the main culprit here. More than 13 million people who work in the Department of Transportation, half of them will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years.
That brings us to another problem with CDL class A over-the-road drivers that are probably the hardest drivers to find right now and with such a wide-open market and endless job positions at the moment, skilled drivers can easily hop from one job to another while scouting for better work conditions and higher salary.
Millennials, however, are not close to retirement by any means, but it’s a generation that tends to not consider skilled trades as career opportunities, which can make it harder for employers to recruit. Transportation companies are having a difficult time hiring Millennials, and on top of that, Generation X are finding work in other industries as well.
Some companies are now switching focus to other areas as well, beyond the hard skills. Characteristics such as attitude, personality, and work ethics are something that is being more and more vocalized in the trucking industry to help tackle the recruitment challenged ahead.adminSeptember 20, 20191:50 pmThe Unpredictable Dance Of Fuel Prices
Fuel prices and its large dynamic market are dependent on many factors. Today, it is more than important that we realize how unpredictable it can be. We also must embrace the importance of following daily news, overseas events, and how it might or might not affect fuel price. Something that drives the trucking industry and the US as a country. And after recent catastrophic events, let’s discover what actually makes fuel prices go up and down, and how some lesser-known factors can affect it.
From the ongoing US-China trade wars all the way to the middle east’s recent events where an attack on Saudi Arabia oil facilities has destroyed 5% of the world’s oil supply.
For the trucking industry, it raises many questions whether fuel prices will go up or not, and if yes – by how much. While it got people worried about a possible leap in the prices of petrol and diesel, it is not necessarily an indicator that the prices will skyrocket.
According to Philip Gomm from the RAC Foundation, the biggest thing isn’t what’s going on in Saudi or Iran, it’s the Chancellor of the Exchequer and that’s because around 60% of the fuel price that is paid is a tax. A tax that is a mixture of fuel duty and VAT could be a reason that we don’t necessarily see a jump of the prices at the pumps, even ff the base price of the oil doubles.
The exchange rate is also an important element when it comes to fuel prices. Oil is priced and traded in dollars and if the exchange rate is weak it will result in costing more in pounds to buy that fuel.
The wholesale price comes into play as well, in today’s dance of fuel prices as it defines how much the oil costs when it leaves the refinery. That will eventually become the price retailers pay for it.
When supply is disrupted – such as an attack on an oilfield – wholesale prices go up.
The wholesale price is expected to go up quite rapidly, but then again, it will take a couple of weeks for that to get passed on to drivers and affect them directly. But because it is not known how long the supply will remain to be disrupted, it becomes almost impossible to predict how much fuel costs will increase, or for how long.
With no signs of a shortage of oil across the globe, and fuel market’s ability to adjust to the loss for political reasons and lessons learned from Venezuela and Iran, the current situation is strongly under control.
And the cost of a barrel of oil is soaring since the Saudi attack with a price of roughly $65 (£52.20) a barrel, just proves that as we are still miles off the historic $143 (£114) a barrel in 2008.
However if tensions will turn into a conflict in the Middle East, that will tell a completely different story with production facilities, trading routes and pipelines becoming vulnerable to future attacks – which could result in prices jump long-term.
adminSeptember 16, 201912:52 pmFuel Discounts For Trucking Companies In 3 Easy Steps with Fuel Cards
Accounting for up to 40% of trucking companies expense, it falls second as the biggest expense for trucking companies, only behind maintenance, service, and repairs. And with logging thousands of miles daily, there should be no surprise that fuel companies are on the hunt for discounts. Fortunately, one of the simplest ways to save on fuel is also one of the most effective – using fuel cards. Find out how in 3 easy steps these cards benefit trucking companies with just one swipe away from thousands of dollars spent less!
The most common and effective way for trucking companies to save on something vital and important as fuel is the programs and fuel cards. And sometimes, it can deliver more additional benefits, beyond the fuel discounts. Fuel cards are made to benefit carriers that range in various sizes, whether it’s a single rig or dozens of trucks with customers for these cards also stretching from contracted carriers and private fleets to independent operators.
A high-quality fuel card program will deliver trucking companies significant per-gallon discounts on fuel, as well as savings on other services.
Fuel cards can be seen as a bridge to the partnership between a trucking company and fuel station merchant with an intent to drive sales for those fuel station merchants. As a carrier, a fuel card that offers strong savings on fuel at convenient locations along the lanes that the company runs is what you want.
Using services of a fuel card program that delivers the right blend of discounts and flexibility could making savings worth thousands of dollars annually just on fuel alone!
These discounts can vary greatly at each fuel stop or location with a possibility of daily changes.
The right fuel card comes with a reliable company that tackles all mentioned above, and companies such as Paul Mark Fuel are prime examples.
Not only any kind of operator or company will find the right card for them, but services like Paul Mark Fuel offers to save an average of 35 cents a gallon with an opportunity to fuel up at more than 1,490 of their nationwide in-network locations.
In addition, companies such as Paul Mark Fuel boast rich experience in the field while offering interesting perks with their fuel card programs such as reward point system, discounts at certain pump spots and more!
Today, there are plenty of diverse options to choose from, best explored according to the specific trucking company type and needs, with these being an example of how highly-reviewed fuel card programs and services offer to land a hand in saving expenses on fuel.
The focus might be on the fuel and its sometimes grueling expenses, but once you start using the fuel card program don’t forget all the additional benefits it can bring, depending on the provider.
From general maintenance, repairs and tires to document scanning, lodging and many other various expenses of operating a trucking company can be covered as well.
Not only that but saving with the fuel card program will also bring important communication on the latest fuel discounts throughout the card company’s retail network alongside other possible perks such as spending control, fleet management and more!adminAugust 24, 20195:27 pmKey Factors Affecting the Trucking Market in 2019
If the US trucking industry were a country, it would rank top 50 in GDP every year. The trucking industry is generating billions of dollars and is not only responsible for more than 5% of all the full-time jobs in America, but an astonishing 70 % of all the freight moved in the country. With the industry being so large and powerful, there are certainly more than one aspects influencing its market every single year. Let‘s take a look at some of the key factors affecting the trucking market in the year 2019.
As the industry continued to operate in the deficit of drivers in 2018, this year it is still same news. Despite the efforts and better incentives to draw new drivers the strong shortage continues to increase from 60,000 in 2018 to 70,000 in 2019.
Businesses that are dependent on truck shipping, should be more than aware that driver shortages continue to contribute to a sporadic shortfall of available trucking capacity. The driver shortage, including the problematic driver retention, is expected to remain a primary concern for the trucking industry not only this year but for more years ahead.
According to the ATA and the latest driver statistic, the problem is slightly improved, yet ATA still estimates that the industry is short for more than 50,000 drivers.
Trucking rates were rapidly rising up to 30% in spot markets last year in 2018, however from the first quarter of 2019, spot rates had fallen and capacity has improved.
In 2018 driver wages grew at strongly compared to previous years, all on different levels based on the region, and truck market, but the general trucker pay was up around 10% on average over the year.
Raising wages and making higher pay and better benefits for truckers serves the main goal – to reduce the truck capacity shortage and draw new drivers to become truckers.
Unfortunately, an increase in driver pay translates immediately to similarly higher rates for shippers. Both driver wages and trucking rates are expected to go up about 3 to 5% on average in 2019.
Turbulent U.S. domestic politics has a tremendous impact on the trucking market while being also influenced by the ongoing global trade wars that are pushing shippers to make difficult decisions regarding their operations and supply chain.
In 2019, factors like the US-China Trade War, Global-National Regional Economies, e-commerce, and the political climate could each affect import volume and its associated shipping requirements.
Not to mention that many manufacturers have built their supply chain over a span of decades and will find it challenging to establish new supply chains and avoid costly tariffs.
Economic and political volatility are both contributors to a reduction in shipping volume in 2019 as expected. According to economists, a slowdown in the last quarter of 2018 indicates that the demand growth rate is expected to decrease in 2019. But even with a slowdown in growth, 2019 shippers will face significant worries.
2019 will remain a tough year to be a trucking buyer and 2019 will continue to be a more expensive and much more challenging period to bring goods to market. Shippers will have to continue the search for ways to significantly improve areas such as truck utilization, network operating costs, find new and different types of capacity, and reduce loading and unloading cycle times and beyond.