As the economy continues to improve, trucking companies are finding themselves with more business than they can handle. In December 2017 they were able to charge about 22% more than they had a year earlier in the short notice ‘spot’ shipment market.
However, truckers are having difficulty ramping up their capability to handle the increased business. The main issue is finding enough qualified drivers to pilot the trucks. Currently, significant numbers of experienced drivers are retiring, and with the current low level of unemployment in the United States, potential new hires may find more attractive opportunities in other fields . In an effort to solve this problem, at least one logistics company is now offering free driver training.
Right now, the trucking firms have more trucks than drivers. The idle trucks are referred to as ‘unseated’. Transport companies may find it necessary to spend a large portion of their increased profits filling those seats. Overall, companies in the transportation/logistics field are still expected to report increased profits for the fourth quarter of 2017.