Preliminary information for October from ACT Research indicates that the US trailer industry booked 54,200 net orders for the month, up 6% from September and more than 68% better than the same month last year.
Finding truck drivers, especially as the current group ages and more people are reluctant to spend time from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, is the trucking industry’s biggest challenge.
That’s the finding of the latest annual American Transportation Research Institute survey of the biggest issues facing the industry.
Motor carrier chief executives also echo the same problem as they report third-quarter financial results to industry analysts and investors.
Trucking rates are going up because the industry can’t find enough drivers to meet freight demand.
Over the last 10 years, commercial trucking insurance rates have skyrocketed. Despite those rate increases, however, insurance companies are experiencing losses, which means the transportation insurance industry is seeing continued deterioration and availability in capacity.
“We have a flash recession caused by a natural disaster. Normally natural disasters are regional. This natural disaster was not only countrywide but worldwide,” Don Ake, the FTR Intelligence vice president for commercial vehicles, said during a recent FTR Engage virtual session on commercial vehicle supply.
“The recession is likely over.”
Bob Costello, the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) chief economist, delivered this promising, unofficial news to virtual attendants of the 2020 McLeod Software User Conference during a Sept. 30 presentation on the economy.
New federal hours of service (HOS) rules — designed to give commercial drivers more flexibility — take effect across the U.S. at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
A group of U.S. Senators have said that small-business truckers and other industries that rely on trucking cannot bear the financial burden of a policy that could end up in the next transportation reauthorization bill. U.S. Senator Steve Daines encouraged his colleagues to sign a letter opposing an unnecessary increase in federal liability insurance requirements for motor carriers.
In just over a month — at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 29 — revised hours-of-service rules go into effect for commercial drivers across the country. The new rules create more flexibility for drivers while keeping a focus on highway safety, according to Joseph DeLorenzo, the acting associate administrator for enforcement at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.