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Market Update: Transportation Industry News

Market Update: Transportation Industry News

Market-Updates Domestic

In the transportation industry, there are many moving parts that can impact your day-to-day operations. From monitoring carrier capacity and driver shortages to tracking diesel pricing and government regulations, staying current on the events in transportation means you will be better equipped to make knowledgeable business decisions and drive growth and efficiency into your supply chain. This month’s Market Update highlights key factors that impact the transportation industry in North America and will keep you up to speed on the latest news and topics that matter to your supply chain and business.

Large Scale Market Indicators
FTR reports strong U.S. trailer orders, which reflects healthy expectations for truck demand in 2015. “The trailer market is showing continued power, and this momentum is now expected to flow into the second half of 2015,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “The environment for fleets is very positive with plenty of freight, tight capacity, dropping diesel prices, and increasing profits.”

The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said they’ve asked the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) if aid is needed in their stalled labor talks with U.S. West Coast port employers—and, if so, when they could aid. Read more.

The U.S. economy accelerated to its highest pace of growth in the past 11 years during the third quarter, to a 5.0% rate. This unexpectedly strong revision came as consumer spending was stronger than first estimated—originally reported at 3.5%. Read more.

Carrier Capacity
According to the FTR Trucking Update, a total of 355 truck fleet companies with 9,090 trucks went bankrupt in Q3 2014. This is down from Q2 2014, but well above the 4,985 trucks seen last year. The average fleet size continues to be elevated to 26 trucks.

Driver Shortage
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) survey found that median truck driver pay is higher than $46,000, and rising. In this tight driver market, carriers are offering competitive benefits. Nearly 80% of truckload fleets give drivers paid holidays off, for example, and four of every five private carriers offer a 401(k) plan and match employee contributions. Read more, or get the a one page summary of the report.

According to FTR’s January Trucking Update, the driver shortage is at 204,154 as of Q3 2014.

Government Regulations
What do recent Hours of Service (HOS) changes mean for 2015? In a nutshell, two HOS regulations have been suspended until at least September 30, 2015. Maximum on the road drive time is still 11 hours per day. Drivers can now restart their clocks more than once per week. Drivers can use any consecutive 34-hour time period as a 34-hour restart, and it does not need to include two 1:00-5:00 a.m. periods. While the rules are suspended, two studies will be conducted determining the net cost and safety benefits of the regulations. Read more.

Diesel Pricing
According to the Department of Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average price for diesel per gallon is $3.42. This decline marks the lowest national average price per gallon for diesel since the week of January 17, 2011, when it was $3.41. Read more.

Which transportation indicators or topics are most relevant to your interests? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.