During a seminar held by Bibby Financial Services at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY on March 28th, information was presented from a survey that was gathered from 250 small to mid-sized trucking businesses.
Below are the some of the more interesting aggregated results submitted by the survey participants:
- They are optimistic about growth. 38% of the participants are expecting to continue growing up to 25%.
- There is a driver shortage. By increasing pay and benefits, these companies are hoping to entice good drivers to want to work for them or continue to work for them. According to Mary Ann Hudson, executive vice president of Bibby Transportation Finance, “The driver shortage continues to challenge capacity.” She goes on to explain, “There just aren’t enough trucks to keep America’s goods moving.”
- 37% of the businesses said they feel they must accept contracts “as is” or lose business.
- Competition has become aggressive and 66% of these businesses reported losing business due to competitors coming in with a much lower price. Very few small fleet owners “make it past the 5th truck”. Meaning, they are losing contracts due to competitors charging unbearable prices which in turn does not allow the small sized trucking company to grow to more than 5 trucks in their fleet.
- 1 in 3 of these businesses who were surveyed said they plan to invest in predictive maintenance over the next 12-24 months to cut costs. Nearly half of the companies surveyed agreed that “ELD (Electronic Logging Device) is the technology that will have the biggest impact in the next three years.”
Hudson did report that the overall outlook for the transportation industry is steady, even though they are facing some of the same obstacles as in recent years. Even with the challenges these trucking businesses face, there are definitely opportunities in this in-demand industry.