USA truck capacity crunch…
Nearly seven weeks into 2019, the contour of the US trucking landscape is becoming somewhat clearer. Truck capacity generally should be less tight this year than in 2018, but shippers shouldn’t expect another 2016, when excess capacity was the rule, rather than the exception.
The US economy is expanding more slowly than it did a year ago, but it is still expanding, not contracting, and chances for a recession this year are deemed slim (2020 is another matter).
That means shippers at times will still be tasked to find trucks and drivers, and will pay more for transportation, unless they can work collaboratively with their transportation and logistics partners to reduce costs. That’s not easy, but in a more balanced market, it should be easier.
Even more important, the economy is growing faster than the supply of truck drivers, which, despite shortages in some sectors, has also been growing over the past six years. On top of that, trucks, drivers, and rolling stock often aren’t where shippers need them. The US transportation industry suffers from a broader version of the “matchback” problem shipping lines face when ocean containers wind up at locations where there are no export goods to refill them. That’s increasingly true for tractor-trailers as well as containers, and that limits capacity.
And shippers should strive to get carriers and their logistics partners to focus more on the needs of their end customer, whether another business or the consumer, and that customer’s experience, not just on completing an efficient transaction.
www.vandongederoo.com – Miles ahead in shipping
US truck capacity loosened significantly in the first quarter, especially on the spot market, but shippers shouldn't expect a "glut" of excess capacity this year.