They say that by taking the temperature of the US trucking industry, you could properly evaluate the temperature of the US economy. And with the economy picking up momentum during the past years, it is obvious that trucking is improving as well. In fact, trucking companies in the US had a record setting year.
Despite major obstacles that the trucking industry deals with, including a truck driver shortage of over 40,000 (and growing) and capacity issues that might seem daunting, the trucking industry shinned. In 2014, the US trucking industry posted a record $700 billion in revenue. This total represents a 2.6% revenue increase from 2013. A big reason for the increase in revenue to trucking carriers is because of their partnerships with freight forwarders.
In 2014, trucks carried 9.96 billion tons of cargo. This represents 68% of all US freight. Thus, trucking is still the dominant form of transportation in the US, although that could change in a few years as intermodal begins to rise.
The revenue increase for trucking is a bit of surprise. With fuel prices down, most trucking companies are lowering their fuel surcharge, and thus lowering freight trucking rates. Still, they were able to increase their revenue.
This revenue increase may seem like all good news. However, the truck driver shortage is only going to get worse. Currently, there are 7 million people employed by trucking in some form. The average truck driver is 7 years older than the average worker in other industries. The trucking industry must solve this growing problem.