Shipping goods by truck has always been a vital method of distribution in America. However, the trucking industry has been facing new threats and problems making its distribution method harder to maintain. The cost of fuel, highway congestion, competition, lack of new drivers and problems with long-hauling are factors contributing to the industry’s demise.
As economic crises loom and the tension of world affairs increases, the cost of fuel suffers. In February of 1999, the price per gallon was $1.18, compared to February of 2009 at $2.13 a gallon.
As more and more cars make it onto the highways, the ability for a trucker to make his trip in a timely manner decreases. Accidents, traffic congestion and highway construction can all lead to a loss of profit.
Some truckers have found work harder to come by in recessions. Oftentimes another trucker will offer to move the goods at a lower price.
Decline in Drivers
A decline in the number of drivers is another threat to the trucking industry. Because trucking has a high turnover, the industry is losing more drivers than it’s employing.
One of the methods of shipping is the long-haul, moving a shipment of goods across the country in very little time. It’s stressing work because of the lack of sleep. Fewer drivers are willing to perform this task.
The long-term status of HOS requirements remains uncertain as legal challenges and appeals are likely to continue. Respondents indicate a need to retain several elements of previous HOS regulations and that HOS regulations should be made more flexible in certain areas
Onboard Truck Technology
The industry understands and supports many of the potential benefits of these technologies, even though many questions remain. The most prolific technology topic is electronic onboard recorders, most often cited as a potentially effective tool for monitoring HOS compliance.