What Does June Data Say for Truck Driving?
Trucking analysts are always watching metrics and reports closely to learn about the future of their industry. Doing so helps them adjust and plan ahead effectively. After a rough 2016 ended with an optimistic outlook for the future, many people have kept their fingers crossed for a trucking boom this year.
While the initial rise in demand was predicted to be a slow and steady one, truckers know how these small improvements in perpetuity can add up to a big gain in the long-term. Though data has been up and down for the first two quarters of the year, June’s numbers showed an increase that has many looking to the future with optimism.
Both freight demand and shipping rates are now at their highest point in years, and the DAT North American Freight Index for June increased 24 percent from May – a 57 percent increase year-over-year. Brokers and shippers looking for trucks are paying premiums in many markets and trucking lanes.
This increase comes at the crossing of two important factors. The first is an increase in demand, which calls for more drivers to be on the road delivering goods. The second is a drop in capacity, with fewer drivers available that needed. The result is a situation where numbers have climbed and truckers are feeling relief.
Though the jump has meant an increase in drivers on the road, it is the type of boom trucking appreciates. General economic conditions have improved, consumers are more confident, and retailers are adjusting to the new changes. While the increase in demand and rates shows opportunities at the moment, it may also show some potential problems for the future.
Truck availability could become an issue as the year progresses, and trends continue on the same path they are now. Regulatory changes, such as the mandatory switch to ELDs required by the end of the year, may cause more drivers to leave the industry and seek other lines of work.
While July is always known for being the last “boom month” before freight demand tapers off until the holiday season, truck drivers and carriers alike are feeling confident with the current data.