It’s important to remain abreast of the latest facts, figures, and happenings within the trucking industry, so here we’re providing you with some of the key information in our 2018 Q4 trucking industry update.

Hours of Service Issues

The FMCSA is contemplating making changes to the current HOS regulations. The changes are said to help make trucking operations more robust. They are looking to extend the 14-houron-duty driving limitation to 16 hours when a driver is stuck in bad weather, such as ice or snow.

There are also once again allowing drivers to split up their mandatory 10-hour off-duty periods if their truck has a sleeper-berth compartment, giving drivers more flexibility with their rest breaks. Furthermore, the present 100 air-mile short-haul exemption is being extended from 12 hours to 14 hours on duty, bringing the rules in line with those for long-haul drivers too.

Employment figures and wage rises

The unemployed rate in the US fell to its lowest point since 1970, which is certainly good news, although the trucking industry is still struggling to attract new drivers. There are over 100,000 truck-related vacancies in the US, yet very few new drivers are stepping forward.

62% of dispatchers and drivers believe that this labor shortage is negatively affecting market rates and is making the industry more volatile due to uncertainty and an agingdriver population.

As a result of the lack of new drivers, fleets have been forced to raise their wages in order to attract new talent. Wages have risen by 12% since June 2017, attracting over 30,000 new drivers in the US.

Price of diesel

The average price of diesel in the US rose by 7.2 cents, now standing at $3.385 per gallon. As of this 2018 Q4 trucking industry update, the cost of diesel has risen for 7 weeks in a row. Since August, the price of diesel has risen by 17.8 cents per gallon. Since last year, the price of diesel has risen by a staggering 60.9 cents!

The highest current diesel prices can be found in California, where the cost of the trucking industry’s main fuel is now at $4.111 per gallon! Needless to say, these rising expenses are putting enormous pressure on trucking companies to find ways to cut costs and save money elsewhere.

Warehouse Space

Warehouse availability rates continue to fall despite increasing demand for warehousing space. The amount of empty warehousing space currently stands at 7.1%, although the lowest it has ever dipped was in 2000,when it fell to 6.6%. Nonetheless, this represents a consistent fall over 33 quarters in a row.

This lack of available space is probably going to accelerate the “just in time” retail model, putting extra pressure on truckers and logistics workers to ensure strict deliveries.

We hope you enjoyed our 2018 trucking industry update. Remember to check back with us when you want to remain abreast of all the latest trucking developments!

The Q4 2018 Trucking Industry Update and Outlook was last modified: by