If you are in the trucking industry, you will want to keep a close eye on these top trends for the remainder of 2019.
1. Driver Shortage and Wages
The driver shortage is still the top challenge as reported by fleet owners. Some fleets are reporting that more than a third of their trucks were empty at any given time last year. One company said of the 800 drivers they interviewed over the past year, they only hired two – and neither one of them showed up to work, according to Trucking Info.
Driver wages are expected to increase this year, with driver pay conditions being more favorable today for drivers than a year ago.
2. The Economy
The economic outlook is not as great as it was one year ago. It’s the second longest economic expansion in our history. Good news is, there is enough momentum to take us through the first half of the year. After that, there are definitely some economic indicators that seem troublesome, such as the stock and housing markets, tax cuts in favor of buybacks rather than capital investment, tariffs and trade wars, etc. In general, experts are predicting a slowdown as we head into 2020.
3. Regulatory Relief
The relationship between trucking lobbyists and the agency that regulates trucking has never been stronger. At the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition last October, ATA chief Chris Spear said there has not been this level of engagement since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stepped in two decades ago. The FMCSA recently announced it would grant the American Trucking Associations’ petition to pre-empt duplicative and confusing state rest-break rules. There’s also talk of restoring split-sleeper-berth flexibility.
Legalization of marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal use, continues to hit more states, and even into Canada. The trucking industry is in a tricky spot, as public opinion and liberal state laws on cannabis use sit on one side of the issue, facing off against the federal government which takes a hard stance on marijuana, classifying it as one of the most dangerous illegal drugs.
5. New Data-Driven CSA
When it comes to Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), watch for newer, more scientific based scores. The FMCSA rolled CSA out back in 2010 as a way to determine, through data, which fleets should be targeted. It was a great theoretical idea but failed when put into motion. In 2016, Congress, looking for a fix of the situation, ordered that data kept from the public be reviewed by the National Academies of Science. It was not happy with the agency for its unscientific methods, and therefore recommended Item Response Theory, currently used in standardized testing.
Contact Taylor Oil
For more industry news, contact Taylor Oil Co. today. We would be happy to provide information on our services, such as mobile fueling, 24/7 on-site fueling and tank rentals throughout the Northeast.