While the trucking industry at large is trying to manage a shortage of drivers, and brokers are scrambling to find carriers to take on large shipments, one are of the industry is set to clean up. Small business truckers kicked off the new year by seeing high revenue from freight rates.
Freight Rates Are On the Rise
The long and the short of the current situation comes down to supply and demand. Small businesses across the country have a lot of shipments which need to be delivered. Because there is a shortage of drivers, businesses are offering higher freight rates as an incentive to drivers. Since the shortage of drivers has been growing, a lot of shipments simply are not moving. For industries which rely on time-sensitive deliveries, such as meat and produce, premium freight rates are being offered to hopefully find an available truck or two to help get items to their destinations.
Owner operators stand to experience a tremendous year with increased freight rates. Drivers willing to make long hauls, or pick up and deliver produce shipments in the Southwest can easily break the $10,000 mark in under a month. With the ambition and willingness to spend a lot of time making deliveries over the next few months could have independent bringing home double and even triple their salaries in a short period of time.
Trucking fleets may find themselves in a less comfortable position this year. With a shortage of drivers, prioritizing shipments to take advantage of increased freight rates may cause some of their customers to move further down the list. Between the shortage of drivers, the cost of overhead, and the high demand, fleets might actually lose revenue this year. The rise of independent truckers could even add to the loss. However, fleets may be able to use the increased freight rates to give higher sign-on bonuses and pay rates to new drivers in order to help ease the gap. The increased rates may even see a new wave of qualified talent coming into fleets to take the pressure off of existing drivers and help everyone get a share of the freight rates which are now, more or less, there for the taking.