The economy of the United States is suffering. Along with it, the industries that rely on a positive American economy like restaurants, fashion, infrastructure, and even trucking are suffering because of it. At the recent American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego, the panel discussed how the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe are handling issues throughout the trucking industry. There are a number of different challenges that each country has had to deal with in regards to the trucking industry.
The workforce is facing issues finding people to fill positions, and this is one of the top challenges the trucking industry is facing. In Canada, a trucking industry that is about one-tenth of the United State’s industry, and it is about 28,000 drivers short with an estimated 55,000 short by the end of 2024. The president of the IRU, Radu Dinescu, noted the organization identified the top three countries facing the driver shortage: Ukrainian, Turkey, and Pakistan, mostly due to the drivers leaving their country to work in the western countries like France or Spain. In order to combat the driver shortage, the IRU is going to focus on driver pay, securing parking places, better conditions when crossing borders, automation technology and the overall image of a truck driver to improve. Furthermore, some areas like the United States are looking to recruit drivers at a younger age and women to help solve the driver shortage. Funnily enough, while COVID hurt the economy and the workforce in many ways, it also help build up a more positive image of the truck driver, so this could eventually lead to more people joining the trucking industry.
Getting products delivered on time has been a nightmare, leading to a limited supply of goods, and this includes parts and trucks for the industry. Within the United States alone, industries are struggling to obtain parts and trucks to go along with the reputation of trucking customers who suffered when the consumer was unable to receive their products on time. In order to build up the reputation of the trucking companies with the consumer, the supply chain must become more efficient, this will build up the reputation and lower the cost of supplies. In order to fight the supply issues, it is encouraged that countries work with one another in order to supply each other with goods they need. One way this could be done is to improve the process when crossing the border where it is estimated that the company loses three days of productivity a month.
Much of the world’s trucking industry is facing pressure to help fight climate issues by decarbonizing. The government in the United States is leading this charge by issuing a carbon tax that takes millions of dollars away from the trucking industry. To help combat this, the IRU has created the Green Compact to achieve carbon neutrality in commercial road transport services. To further help fight environmental issues, the trucking industry is also employing different tactics like carrying more goods per trailer, improving the aerodynamics of the vehicle, and improving the driver training. The problem with the improved technology is that many companies are unable to afford them, so they are useless to them. Many countries’ fleets are quite old, meaning they are less efficient. In order to save money, an incentive could be created by eliminating the excise tax, making it easier for fleets to be renovated to improve the MPG within the United States from 6.0 to 8.0, thus creating a large reduction in their carbon footprint.
The infrastructure of the roads that the trucking industry faces is suffering as well, which is detrimental to the trucking companies. Even though the United States has a highway trust fund, Europe still has better roads and bridges due to the tolling and restrictions on heavy vehicles in cities. Mexico’s roads are more than overdue for a higher investment in their highway’s infrastructure. In Canada, the road tax goes towards a general fund, and many people have argued that the industry should have a separate infrastructure fund to improve the roads. The United States has also implemented a fuel tax, but with the increasing number of electric vehicles, the U.S. is looking to implement a vehicle miles traveled tax instead, raising the cost of overhead fees by 20%-30%.
The trucking industry throughout the world is suffering, which is a major issue as every country relies on this industry to bring goods to their consumers. The main issues each country faces are the driver shortage, a supply chain issue, the environment, and the country’s infrastructure. If the trucking is unable to improve, many people will suffer, and not just those who are in the trucking industry.
Regardless of what is going on in the trucking industry in the US, Ship A Car, Inc. is always here for you. Give us a call at (866) 821-4555 for inquire about specialized transport services for all of your vehicle moves.