The 18-month transition from 2016 to 2017, and now deep into the first quarter of 2018, has revealed drastic changes in the freight & trucking market. Note that The Logistix Company primarily deals with the fuel and chemical industries, and our thoughts and opinions reflect the conditions in those segments of the marketplace.
Driver shortages and ELD mandates were futuristic nightmares that might affect the market and industry. Spreading loads and lanes amongst carriers was easy for freight and logistics managers, shipping between Canada and the United States was simple, and many orders could be placed, booked and delivered in a 72-hour window.
Fast-forward to the transition from 2017 to 2018 when issues of full-force ELD mandates, driver shortages, a lack of available trucks, and rates skyrocketing from 200 to 300% created significant concerns for freight managers and logistics teams nationwide. The average age of a truck driver today is approximately that of the average American retiree, and carriers are struggling to entice new drivers despite attractive job benefits.
“What used to be lanes we could cover in two to three business days, now are lanes where we can’t find anything earlier than 7-10 business days out” said Alex Azeredo of The Logistix Company. “That number swells up to 10-14 business days for some liquid bulk and dry van loads.”
Lanes to and from Canada and the United States are seeing increasingly low availability; as high as two to three weeks for many loads, as opposed to 7-day lead times a year ago. Texas has also been an issue hub, where prices are increasing dramatically, and driver shortage isn’t anywhere close to meeting the demands in and out of the area.
The ELD Mandates are in full force, and in addition to shortening some driver’s road time in a day, it is also slowing down the loading and unloading process due to increased reporting regulations.
For more information on the current state of freight and logistics among the chemical industry, as well as industry-wide conditions, contact us today. TLC is committed to partnering with world-class carriers to secure lanes and deliveries across the country and around the globe. Allow us to show you how we can service you and your business and increase your bottom line.