The recession of 2008 did not treat anyone kindly, and that includes the logistics industry. The future at the time looked bleak, but now the industry has got up again and brushed the dust off and moved on. Don’t forget, the shipping industry saw a crunch in business back in the late 90’s. One of the biggest users of logistics is the manufacturing industry. In fact, they set the tone for the rest of the industry. However, manufacturing has rebounded in a big way and the trucking industry is booming again. Even railroad freight is at an all time high. But the trucking industry has some special advantages.
Nothing can beat the point-to-point capability of the trucking business. Not only that, if it is fragile, time sensitive goods, then a truck or a van is indispensable. The good news in all this is that out of all freight being moved, nearly 70% is with the help of trucks. And each year it is increasing. Even intermodal shipping is increasing each year, close to 5% by some estimates. This is good news for truckers also, because the freight needs to reach the customer’s doorsteps, after all.
One of the concerns lately regarding the trucking side of things is a shortage of drivers. But the truth is that ever since trucks were invented there has been a driver “shortage”. People cite the high turnover rate of drivers as an indication of a driver problem. This has more to do with a lot of people trying out the driving trade to see if it works for them. Rather than the core workforce leaving the industry. Today, with better than ever salary, bonus, and benefits, more and more people who otherwise might not have considered this job, are becoming drivers.
In conclusion, the trucking and shipping business has always moved and evolved with the times. The other side of the trucking business, known as the less-than-truckload, has seen an increase recently. Less-than-truckload is a fancy term for smaller trucks or vans. Railroad freight has been going at maximum capacity for some time now. But the trucking side of things has plenty of room to grow. Another side story to all of this is the IT side of things. The fact is, the industry as a whole has not fully taken advantage of information technology to help increase efficiency. Once all of the smaller issues have been ironed out, logistics will see a bright future.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics