The trucking industry is rapidly growing, but also presents several challenges for small- and medium-sized carriers. Here are the most pressing issues in trucking today:
From hours-of-service to E-log devices to fuel emission requirements, government rules dictate almost everything about operating a truck. Most of the rules are designed to make trucking safer, but they also create a lot of red tape and extra expense for drivers and fleets.
Although diesel prices are currently low, saving on fuel and increasing fuel efficiency remain priorities for fleets of all sizes. Fuel card programs are one solution, providing discounts on diesel and many other services for trucking companies.
Trucking fleets may wait as long as 60 to 90 days to get paid by brokers and shippers. This extended cycle can drain a fleet’s cash flow and limit growth. Factoring—also called “accounts receivable financing”—turns fleets’ invoices into cash in less than a day, quickly building up their working capital.
There is a shortage of 48,000 truck drivers nationwide. Meanwhile, driver turnover rates are nearly 100%. To recruit and retain drivers, many fleets are boosting salaries, improving benefits and offering performance bonuses.
Truck drivers are twice as likely as other workers to be obese, have diabetes and not have health insurance. Poor health also puts drivers at risk for sleep apnea and other disorders. Recently, organizations like Rolling Strong, the Truckload Carriers Association and many trucking fleets have launched programs promoting better driver fitness.
Accidents and fatalities have increased in recent years as more trucks and other vehicles share the highways. New “sensing” technology that helps trucks avoid collisions should help reduce the number of accidents in the coming years.
Recent studies rank the United States’ highway infrastructure as 16th among developed countries. Without more public funding for roads and bridges, there will be more accidents, more delays and less profit for trucking companies in the future.
To learn more about ways to thrive in the challenging trucking market, read our free guide, Financial Management for Trucking Companies, on RTSFinancial.com.