Despite a flat month during September, the trucking industry is poised to end the year on a positive note, industry analysts are saying. That is good news for both the industry and the economy as a whole, given the fact that the trucking sector is often seen as a barometer of American economic activity.
Numbers from the American Trucking Association show the total volume of freight moved by U.S. truckers was unchanged in September when adjusting for seasonal influences. The non-adjusted numbers show a slight increase of 1.7% over August. On the year, volume is up 3.2% compared to the same time last year.
With the fourth quarter being the height of the retail-shopping year, we would have to have a disastrous holiday shopping season to end 2014 on a sour note. For all intents and purposes, the industry is expecting more than enough work to stay busy from now through the end of December. And of course, there remains plenty of talk about how the nation’s driver shortage will affect delivery schedules and retail prices through the holiday season.
As Trucking Goes
America’s freight forwarders use independent contractors and trucking companies to transport more than 69% of the total freight moved throughout the country every year. Truckers haul everything from food to consumer electronics to building materials. As the trucking industry goes, so does the rest of the nation’s economy.
For the professional driver, a trucking job is a way to earn a living. However, to the rest of us, it is the key to making sure consumer goods remain affordable by keeping store shelves stocked with goods transported over-the-road. The trucking industry is vitally important to the end user even though he or she may not know it. With this in mind, any increase in volume is good.
Dealing with the Driver Shortage
After making it through the holiday season, the industry needs to set its eyes on dealing with the driver shortage in 2015. The new year will bring with it a fresh round of retirements among older drivers who have to put in 20 years or more. The biggest challenge for trucking companies is to encourage more young people to enter the profession with a long-term vision of remaining behind the wheel throughout their entire working careers.
In simple terms, trucking must be presented as a lifelong career rather than just a temporary job used as a stepping-stone to something else. Companies like C.R. England are doing its part by partnering with Premier Truck Driving Schools. Their training program is designed to recruit new drivers who do not have a CDL license, but who also do not have the desire to spend their working careers in an office or on the assembly line.
The drivers are sent to CDL schools in one of five states that Premier operates. As long as the drivers meet C.R. England’s other hiring requirements, they are guaranteed employment with C.R. England upon completing their training. Furthermore, they offer a variety of ways to pay for training. New drivers do not need to have the cash on hand, a cosigner, or even a top-notch credit rating. What C.R. England is looking for is the right attitude and a willingness to learn and work.
The positive numbers from the American Truckers Association is a source of encouragement. Like them, let’s believe the fourth quarter will be very positive for the industry as a whole and look forward to what 2015 will bring.
- Posted by Page Siplon
- On December 18, 2014
- 0 Comments