Tucker Blog

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


In late 2016, truck capacity began disappearing quickly, where even expediting truckers, who charge significant premiums over market pricing, were booked days in advance.
In 11 months, the ELD mandate takes hold, requires every truck using paper logs to be converted to electronic logging devices, “ELDs.” So what’s the big deal?  A large cold-chain carrier executive visited us, discussing recent acquisitions it made, indicating the carriers it acquired who used paper logs were doing 30% more miles than its ELD-equipped fleet. Yes, that’s 30% more miles than ELD fleets!!!
A recent study by Truckstop.com, which was reviewed at their Connected 2016 conference in November, detailed surveys from drivers showing about 5% of them would choose to exit the industry rather than convert to using ELDs.
ELDs will undoubtedly reduce miles driven by the nation’s aggregate fleets. Will it be 12-14% like many experts have stated? Might it be more? Might it be only half as bad, like 6-7% reduction in available trucks?
Today’s trucking industry and U.S. inventory levels are as finely tuned as they’ve been in history, largely due to technology. The difference between a soft 2016 and a “Katie, bar the doors” capacity starved moment is usually just a snowstorm away.  In a discussion with Scott Moscrip, the founder and chairman of Truckstop.com, he told our CEO Jeff Tucker, that in late 2017, his data shows the U.S. experiencing the worst capacity shortage we’ve ever seen. Moscrip said, (paraphrased) it won’t be give me a truck—I don’t care what the price is. It may be that there simply won’t be a truck at any price. He’s not alone. Many of the experts we’ve been talking with are painting a grim picture for truck capacity. If late 2016 is any indication of what’s to come, better prepare now. How?

Keep your friends (existing service providers) very close. Now is the time. By summer it may be too late.