Why You Should Hire a Trucking Consulting Firm

A business owner standing by a truck after working with a trucking consulting firm.

If you’re in the trucking business, you know there are ups and downs. As with any business, there are issues that arise from time to time and, unfortunately, the trucking industry is not immune. If you have hit a low recently, you may be wondering what to do. Luckily, you’re not alone. Trucking industry issues are well-known and tracked yearly to help businesses determine what they need to focus on. With the help of trucking consulting firms, you can have a successful business plan to tackle these problems head-on from the very beginning.

Identifying Trucking Industry Issues

Every year, the American Transportation Research Institute publishes a report on “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry.” The most recent report listed the top ten priorities that all trucking companies should be focusing on. By identifying the existing trucking industry issues, your company can adapt and thrive. Here are the top ten critical issues you need to look out for in order of importance.

Driver Shortage

Shortage of drivers has been the top industry concern for the past two years. With a growing demand for truck transportation and a limited number of drivers, the demand for recruiting and retaining qualified drivers has grown increasingly important. American Trucking Associations (ATA) has estimated the trucking industry is short by approximately 50,000 drivers. As a result, the market has been forced to boost benefits, bonuses, and driver pay over the past year.

Hours-of-Service (HOS)

The industry has been hoping for increased flexibility in the current sleeper berth provision for years, but the FMCSA’s ELD mandate in December 2017 has put a halt to this for the time being. Currently, drivers who use this provision must have eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, in addition to two separate hours in the sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of the two. More flexibility with this rule would mean more efficient HOS.

Driver Retention

With driver turnover increasing, retaining your team is an important issue facing the trucking industry. Without effective driver retention, your recruitment and training costs increase dramatically. Unfortunately, this has been an increasing problem since 2013. Trucking companies have needed to adapt by changing their retention strategies. With a driver shortage continuing to rise, retaining your drivers is more crucial than ever.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

At the end of 2017, there was a full implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD). The industry is still determining how the new ELD Mandate is affecting safety and productivity. Right now, the impact of ELDs is still being debated and additional research is needed.

Parked trucks are one of the trucking industry issues.

Truck Parking

This may not seem like it should be an issue, but it has become more prevalent in recent years. The issue with truck parking comes from a lack of available places for truck drivers to park, so they end up driving beyond their designated HOS or park in undesignated locations. However, the Federal Highway Administration has acknowledged that the lack of truck parking is only an increasing problem and needs to be addressed. However, until there is a change, finding appropriate truck parking continues to be a trucking industry issue.

Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA)

CSA has held steady as being a consistent issue for the trucking industry for years. This includes a driver’s crash risk and what that means for a business. Currently, the Congressionally-mandated National Academies of Sciences is reviewing compliance, safety, and accountability and considering implementing a carrier rating system.

Driver Distraction

While this may seem like just a problem for the everyday driver, it is actually impacting the trucking industry as well. The growing use of smartphones has been a large contributor, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 people were killed in vehicle crashes with distracted drivers in 2016. This needs to be addressed in the trucking industry and taken very seriously.

Driver Health/Wellness

There is an important connection between improved health and wellness among drivers and overall retention of drivers. Approximately 20% of drivers leave their job due to health problems. An improvement in driver health would solve other issues facing the industry and create a positive association between driver safety and health.

Economy

While the economy may appear to be on the rise, an issue arises due to emerging trade disputes. With a growing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, there have been tariffs imposed by both parties on a variety of goods. Strong import and export is crucial to the driving industry and presents a problem area for industry stakeholders.

Two men working on profitability consulting in the transport business.

Trincon Offers Profitability Consulting in the Transport Business

Your company may face one or all of these challenges. As these issues continue to rise throughout the industry, it’s important to have a strategic profitability plan in place. At Trincon, we offer profitability consulting in the transport business to help your company through any or all of these issues. To combat trucking industry issues, a trucking consulting firm is the best solution. Contact one of our knowledgeable consultants today and we can evaluate your business to stay ahead of these problems that are affecting the trucking industry.

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