A shortage of drivers and persistently low fuel charges are driving money into the pockets of trucking companies, as the industry reported a record $700.4 billion in revenue in 2014.
Trucking revenue rose 2.6% last year, according to the American Trucking Associations’ “American Trucking Trends” report released Monday.
The growth marked a slowdown from the previous year, when trucking revenue expanded 6.2%, but marked the first time industry-wide revenue exceeded $700 billion.
Revenue has been on an upward trend since the beginning of the economic recovery, as shippers, including everyone from apparel retailers to grocers, responded to the recovery in demand following the 2008-2009 economic downturn.
Part of the issue is demographic: for whatever reason, younger workers aren’t signing up to become truck drivers. The average age of a truck driver is 49, compared with 42 for workers overall.
The ATA estimates there is a shortfall of about 40,000 long-haul truckers needed to meet demand for moving goods, of a total of 1.5 million long-haul drivers nationwide, which is driving up shipping rates. ATA’s index that tracks revenue per mile grew 3.2% in 2014 to 154.1 from 149.4 in 2013.
Another factor is fuel prices. A gallon of diesel fuel is $1.07 cheaper than it was a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Most truckers charge shippers a surcharge based on fuel expenses on top of a base shipping rate. Those surcharges have declined over the past year, making truck shipments more cost-effective for shippers.
For information on HG logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH. please contact our general manager, Doug Bierman, at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.