Tucker Blog

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Truckload Capacity Tightens; Drivers Flee to Owner - Operators

Capacity is reaching its boiling point— well maybe it’s more of a simmer. Nevertheless, large truckload fleets are awash in loads, and short on drivers. They’re shedding shippers for better volumes, better freight, better lanes and higher pay. Large carriers are increasingly investing in their dedicated fleets (turning over truck and driver to shipper for set fees and costs), since it’s more profitable and more predictable than spot market, or retail freight.

Since early spring, carriers have been seeing higher turnover, and driver loss. Some large carriers have hundreds of
trucks parked, wishing they had drivers to drive them. Where are the drivers going? Two places: they’re getting better jobs, where they are home more, or get more miles and more pay; or they’re going into business for themselves. According to our affiliate. QualifiedCarriers.com, 11,570 new trucking companies entered the marketplace since February 2011, for a 7.5% increase. 

So what’s the trick for shippers? Stick with your most trusted providers and treat them well. Remember who stuck by you in the tough times and forget the ones who did not. Shippers and brokers who chase the low rates are the first ones left holding the bag, chasing new “friends” when the going gets tough. Low price providers have no problem leaving shippers the minute they find better freight. Capacity is predicted to remain tight in 2012 and 2013.