OK, except for that little point about being short of drivers and mechanics, the new HOS regulations, and the need to purchase ELD equipment. But I’m serious; the opposite of all these distractions is bad news. Think about it, would you rather be short on drivers or have too many? Isn’t it preferable to have regulations that are trying to improve the industry than none at all? Life isn’t perfect in the trucking industry, but 2014 looks to be pretty darn good.
How Good Is It?
The FTR (Federal Travel Regulation) was quoted by CCJ (Commercial Carrier Journal) “… when the February index is adjusted to account for weather, the index would be pushed above 10 — which would be a signal of the tightest truck market on record.”
Trailer Body Builders annual Trailer Output Report, which they’ve published since 1998, reports yearly trailer production for the top 29 trailer manufacturers. 2013 hit 244,186 and 2014 is expected to beat that record. To put it in perspective, that’s nearly 30,000 more trailers than 2012 and 100,000 more than 2009. I guess some savvy business people think we’re going to need a lot of trailers—soon. Things are looking up.
And It’s Not Only Trucking
The US Census Bureau shares that manufacturing statistics in America continue to rise, “U.S. total business end-of-month inventories for February 2014 were $1,715.6 billion, up 0.4 percent (+/-0.1%) from last month. U.S. total business sales were 1,311.8 billion, up 0.8 percent (+/-0.2%) from last month.” I wonder who is going to ship all these goods.
The US Department of Labor shows that unemployment, at 6.7%, is at its lowest since October of 2008. Check out this graph from Labor Force Statistics from Current Population Survey.
Recognition and Respect
The industry has gone through ups and downs, feast and famine, and survived stronger than ever. Not only is now the time to feast, but trucking is finally getting some of the recognition and respect it deserves. In an industry that has been undeservedly snubbed, where drivers have been looked down upon, and logistic leaders have not been listened too—it’s past due. In this video, transportation secretary Anthony Foxx, relates his personal connection to the trucking industry and his campaign to improve Americas infrastructure.
In our post from 2012, Good News for Trucking is Good News for America, we outlined why trucking is not only essential to the economy of the United States, but critical to the American way of life. No, it isn’t perfect, but what is? But life and the trucking business are good. It’s time to support trucking and infrastructure initiatives; it’s time to thank drivers for the job they do for all of us. And if you’re looking for a career—the future is bright in trucking. Are you involved in trucking or logistics? How do view the outlook of the industry?