Available Capacity Brings Value to Today's Logistics Buyers
Q: From your perspective as a truck capacity provider, where is the balance between demand for trucking services and the currently available truck capacity?
A: It has been reported that up to 20 percent of truckload capacity that existed in 2007 is gone. Some carriers are failing to deliver on time, and the day may come when shippers struggle to find trucks for their shipments. While we are not at a critical point yet, demand is increasing. Unless the trucking sector adds drivers and equipment, shortages will continue.
Q: What trends are affecting currently available truck capacity in the industry?
A: The industry is facing a driver shortage of more than 200,000 by some accounts, and new drivers entering the field expect more in terms of salary and perks.
Regulatory requirements and high fuel costs will lead to higher freight costs. They may also force smaller companies to look for ways to be acquired by larger ones who have the resources to weather this storm. Successful trucking companies should search for growth opportunities from acquisitions, and monitor the trend in increasing total intermodal loads.
Q: What strategies can logistics providers implement to make sure they have plenty of capacity for their shipping customers?
A: They can work with their network of agents and customers to identify trends and prepare for new developments. There are low-cost financing programs for drivers to replace older trucks at the ports.
Training provides drivers and agents with current regulatory information and the tools to meet them. But we must all do more.
It really all comes down to planning and preparing. How can we collaborate on technology so trucks are always full? Where can we mesh operations for efficiencies? The goal is to build long-term relationships, and with that comes trust and the ability to make a difference.