New data is pointing to the idea that the trucking industry isn’t experiencing a driver shortage anymore. But if the industry has added more drivers, why are a good portion of fleets and drivers still feeling the crunch?
More truckers have come into the industry recently
The number of drivers in the United States is at an all-time high, with an increase of almost 600,000 drivers since 2012. Within those numbers, there is a high churn rate. Drivers move from one carrier to another. Some drivers are even making the transition to smaller and more localized fleets where the focus is on job quality. Even pay is higher than it was, making the trucking industry very competitive in today’s strong economy.
Specialized training places added stress on drivers
On the other end of the scale, the trucking industry requires more skills than it did in previous years. Drivers need to understand apps, software, ELDs, and more. This is pushing out older drivers who either cannot or do not want to keep pace. Then there is specialized hauling, such as hazardous materials, chemicals, oil and gas – all of which require drivers to know more than just trucking basics. These niche industries place a higher burden on drivers, and finding qualified truckers – even from a large talent pool – can be challenging.
Shippers are disrupting supply chain efficiency
Over the past year, shippers have been demanding capacity haulers but taking available drivers instead. Many truckers find themselves hauling loads that only take up a small percentage of the available trailer space. This is extremely inefficient and can disrupt supply chains by kicking the burden of capacity loads to drivers. Or worse, the ripple can leave shipments undelivered because other drivers are already on the road.
Locked revenue places a burden on fleets and drivers
Despite the momentum of today’s economy, a lot of revenue is held up by staggered payment schedules. Drivers switch carriers when their current employers are feeling a strain on cash flow. That strain is usually due to unpaid customer invoices. To reduce the perceived crunch time, the industry needs to unlock that revenue to retain drivers, get them additional training, upgrade equipment, and more. Relying on clients to pay quickly is an expectation that leads to frustration. To remedy this, fleet owners use freight factoring to convert unpaid invoices to cash within 24 hours to keep things rolling.
Express Freight Finance is a national leader in factoring services for the trucking industry. Contact us today to learn more.