Consumer Splurge vs. Trucking Industry Decline

Despite a surge in U.S. spending, trucking firms face shutdowns. Can the industry recover from this paradox?

Consumer Splurge vs. Trucking Industry Decline
Image Source: FreightWaves

Despite a 4.9% Q3 economic boost in 2023, U.S. truckers struggle. 35,000 new trucking firms closed their doors by Sept. 30.

Matthew James Collins, an Ohio trucker, mirrors the trucking plight. A year ago, he hauled goods for four corporates. Now, only two clients remain. So, what's happening?

What's Driving the Trucking Meltdown?

  • Booming Consumerism: Thanks to a slowdown in inflation and the American's undying love for shopping, spending shot up.
  • Trucking Overcapacity: Post-pandemic saw a trucking boom, with trucking authorities surging from 255,000 in Jan 2020 to 363,000 now.
  • Rates Dip, Costs Rise: Average per-mile rates for fleets are down by 11.6% from 2022. Add soaring fuel, repair, and other expenses to the mix.

The Road Ahead
Many believe the only way forward is a significant downsizing in trucking authorities. The current demand can't match the 2021 shopping spree, possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Source: FreightWaves

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