Is the Economy Changing the Face of Trucking?

road-train-with-lights-by-wallyirYou would be hard pressed to find any industry that hasn’t been greatly affected by the economic troubles the U.S. has faced over the past several years. Some industries have simply seen major cuts in workforce, while others have chosen to take their business elsewhere. However, the trucking industry has, in many cases, transformed the way business is conducted.

Economic woes have, at times, given rise to driver shortages. These shortages have made it more difficult and often more expensive for a range of different types of companies to ship materials. For some businesses, the difficulties and cost connected to these driver shortages just didn’t make sense from a business or financial standpoint. In order to combat the situation, many companies have switched to the “dedicated fleet” model:

“Retailers and grocery stores are among companies increasingly using dedicated-fleet services as a shortage of drivers constrains U.S. trucking capacity while the economy heals. “ (from Business Week)
In some cases, the cost of a dedicated fleet is higher. However, it guarantees companies the capacity they need when they need it, which means they can effectively reach more customers in a timely manner. In short, they can handle the increased business when it comes their way.

These dedicated fleets have helped a number of retailers deal with increased sales as the economy does its best to rebound. Companies were seeing higher order numbers and shorter lead times, and they realized that a dedicated fleet would save them time and money in the long run. It also helped many companies streamline the logistical aspects of the shipping process.

More Drivers Hired

The best result of the shift to dedicated fleets among a number of retailers may be increased numbers of hired drivers. As orders increase and lead times shrink, those dedicated fleets need to grow, and they can’t grow if there aren’t enough drivers on hand.
Of course, many of these companies are not truly equipped to handle all aspects of shipping on their own. They simply don’t have the infrastructure in place to make it feasible or affordable. However, a number of trucking companies are there to provide dedicated fleets to a specific client. While the retailer might not be running their own shipping, they know that they have a well-established trucking company and a fleet of their own ready to do the job.

The hope is that as retail sales increase, other industries will start to rebound, as well. This could continue to increase the need for drivers and the need for dedicated fleets to handle growing trucking needs. As it stands now, the trucking business has dealt with the lagging economy just as many other businesses have. However, the ability to adapt to the current needs of the market has helped many in the trucking business get in on the ground floor as certain sectors start to see a bit of an economic turnaround.

Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
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