All posts by Chris Stachiw

The Cause of Shipping Cost Hikes

Some of the largest companies in the US have had their profit margins decreased due to the rising cost of shipping through freight lines. This is due in part to a previously mentioned industry issue that has created a shortage of drivers in part to the less than appealing nature of long-haul trucking for prospective drivers.

Over 70% of all products in the US are transported by freight at some point in their journey to the consumer, reinforcing the importance of the trucking industry. In the last year alone, the rates have raised 6% from April 2017 to April 2018 which has pushed many companies to reassess their ability to subsidize the freight costs. Without the ability to subsidize, those costs get passed along to the consumers with certain companies budgeting additional funds to cover the rising freight costs.

The freight industry itself is experiencing the lowest unemployment numbers since 2000, due in part to the aforementioned shrinking talent pool of qualified truckers. The current workforce is older along with the inability to indeed entice in new truckers due to low wages, stressful conditions, and new federally mandated rules regarding hours on the job. This shortfall has pushed many freight companies to incentivize new truckers by increasing pay and benefits which leads to an increase in shipping costs but helps ease the lack of truckers.

The expectation from certain retailers is also placing a burden on an already stressed industry by setting quicker and quicker deadlines for products expecting to reach consumers. In an industry already under pressure, it’s essential that the truckers are given as stress-free a working environment as possible in the hopes of enticing new truckers into the fold. RigPark is committed to helping provide safe, predictable overnight parking for these truckers which should help to ease one of the most stressful aspects of their career.   

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Trucking Market Headed Into Favorable Territory

According to the TCI (Trucking Conditions Index), the trucking industry is headed in a steady upward direction with little change in the negative direction. With the TCI, the optimal readings are above ten which would indicate that the carriers are experiencing prices, volume, and margins that are beneficial to them. While it’s not necessary for the readings to be over 10, anything over 0 is seen as positive for the industry as a whole.

In the last four months, the TCI rating has fluctuated over ten consistently, varying from a little over 10 to 15+. Since the beginning of the year, the ratings are as follows:

  • January: 11.5 (2017: 2.67)
  • February: 15.41 (2017: 5.11)
  • March: 10.30 (2017: 2.97)
  • April: 11.5 (2017: 7.03)

The index numbers are two to three times higher than the first four months of last year, due to the combination of low cost of diesel fuel plus an increased need for transportation. This increased demand is expected to sustain through 2019, another positive for the industry on the whole. The TCI rating is likely to rise throughout 2019 as well as the industry looks to add more truckers along with becoming ELD (electronic log data) compliant. With this increase in drivers, the need for safe, predictable parking will be as important as ever, a problem whose solution is uniquely created by RigPark.

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Trucking Rates and Employment Rallies Upward

In May, the rates for the spot market experienced an upward push that resulted in a jump across the board in the significant load segments: dry van, reefer, and flatbed. These rate increases are the highest that the industry has ever seen, particularly in flatbed rates.

The rate (per mile) increases are:

  • Flatbed: $2.66 to $2.75
  • Reefer: $2.71 to $2.81
  • Dry van: $2.49 to $2.52

Along with per mile rate increases, the market has bounced back from the slip in employment it experienced in April. Since November of last year, the industry has seen a growth of almost 22,000 jobs. This growth has pushed the industry employment to nearly 1.5 million.

This growth, unfortunately, exacerbates the necessity for safe, reliable, and predictable parking that the industry is already experiencing. RigPark is the solution to the industry-wide need for such parking.

To view the original article, click here.