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Challenging (Not Necessarily Bad) Year Predicted for Trucking Activity

With 2018 in the rear view mirror, 2019 is shaping up to be a challenging year especially in regards to the possible economic activity. At the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue in Las Vegas Bob Dieli, president and founder of RDLB Inc., spoke on the current and future issues that are expected to affect the industry’s Truckable Economic Activity. As per MacKay & Company:

Truckable Economic Activity measures all types of economic activity that move by truck, providing a more industry-applicable economic indicator than the broader Gross Domestic Product.

With that in mind, 2019’s key TEA concerns are focused on three separate sectors: investment, export, and import. There have been significant retaliatory soybean tariffs that have been leveled against the US by China due to duties on Chinese steel. These import/export tariffs have made it harder less advisable for US soybean growers to export to China which is and continues to be a significant importer of American-grown soy products. Steel imports and non-auto consumer exports make up large percentages of their respective markets which is giving way to concern regarding how these tariffs will affect the TEA.

Unlike in 2018 where the TEA was a five, in 2019 it’s expected to be a two or three. This is the “challenging” nature of the year in a nutshell as many issues and regulations would definitively shape the way the industry operates through the end of the year. HOS, ELD, and other regulatory changes made huge waves and changes to the industry in 2018, and it’s expected that 2019 will be no different. With the industry continuing it’s upward momentum every day and growing, 2019 is looking to be an exciting year for truckers, carriers, and logistics firms alike.

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