Are you on the hunt for a local truck-driving job? Perhaps you've spent countless hours scrolling through online job boards, attending job fairs, and sending out countless resumes, but to no avail. If you're feeling frustrated and discouraged, you're not alone. The truth is, finding a local driving job can be a daunting task, one that can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Especially when the supply chain crisis continues to impact industries worldwide, the trucking industry is no exception. It was a big blow to the trucking industry, and now truck drivers all over the country have to deal with logistics problems and problems they didn't expect. In addition, the ongoing freight shortage in the United States has created a challenging environment for drivers, who may find that their usual routes or cargo types are no longer in demand or face unexpected challenges.
In this blog, we'll discuss the current state of the trucking industry and the reasons behind the shortage of local truck driving jobs. Whether you're a seasoned truck driver or just starting, this blog will provide valuable insights and information to help you navigate the challenges of the job market and achieve your career goals.
Want to know more about this crisis and what it means for truckers and the industry? Keep reading!
DROP IN FREIGHT DEMAND:
The latest Market Update report from the OOIDA Foundation paints a bleak picture of the current state of the trucking industry. High inventories and decreased sales have resulted in a drop in freight demand, leaving an oversupply of truck drivers and an undersupply of freight. The result? Plummeting rates and a loss of trucking jobs. Due to these conditions, rates will continue dropping in the coming months, particularly affecting the van market. This is a worrying sign for the industry, as the van market constitutes a significant portion of the trucking industry.
The drop in rates has reduced revenues for trucking companies, which are already facing intense competition in the market. The situation is particularly challenging for small and medium-sized trucking companies, which may need more resources to weather the downturn in demand. The shortage of available freight has also put pressure on companies to find new markets and customers, which can be problematic in the highly competitive and volatile transportation industry.
The consequences of this drop in freight demand have been felt across the logistics industry, with trucking companies and drivers being the most affected. The OOIDA Foundation report predicts that rates will continue to drop, making it more challenging for trucking companies to remain competitive. In addition, the oversupply of truck drivers has also led to increased competition for available loads, driving rates even lower. This, in turn, has reduced the number of trucking jobs available, particularly for local routes, making it harder for drivers to find work and support themselves and their families.
WEAK PRODUCE SEASON:
There's another problem on the horizon: a weak produce season caused by historic rainfall in California. This is terrible news for the trucking industry because late spring and early summer are typically the best times for freight volumes. Perishable produce must be hauled out of places like California and into grocery stores or distribution centers nationwide. However, the weak produce season means fewer goods will be transported. With produce volumes underperforming due to weather, the reefer market faces additional challenges, leading to a drop in reefer volumes and excess capacity.
One crop of particular concern to growers and truckers is tomatoes. Farmers typically begin planting the crop in late February. Still, delays caused by the flooding mean many tomatoes will need to be harvested weeks later than usual, and they will all mature at about the same time. This means that truckers may be required to haul a sudden surge of goods, overwhelming processing plants and creating bottlenecks in the transportation system.
The weakened produce season is just one factor contributing to the adverse trucking conditions that have persisted since May 2022. While some crops like nuts may benefit from the excess water, the shortage of produce, in general, is likely to contribute to inflation and a decrease in trucking demand, creating a challenging environment for truckers and the trucking industry.
INCREASED DEMAND FOR LONG-HAUL TRUCKING:
For many Class A CDL drivers, their job is not just a means of earning a living but a lifestyle. They thrive on the open road, experiencing the freedom of the long hauls and the sense of adventure that comes with being on the move. The trucking industry is in flux, with the current freight issue creating a surge in demand for long-haul trucking services. While the recent rise in demand for long-haul trucking may be good news for these drivers, the freight issues have caused a severe problem for those who prefer local driving jobs to stay close to home, their families, and their community, as the options for local trucking jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.
Companies are now prioritizing long-haul routes as they are more profitable, causing a decline in emphasis on local delivery jobs. Long-haul routes are more profitable because they allow companies to move larger volumes of goods over greater distances with fewer stops, reducing the costs associated with loading and unloading. These cost savings, combined with the higher rates that can be charged for longer hauls, make long-haul trucking a more attractive option for companies.
WHAT CAN TRUCK DRIVERS DO DURING THESE TIMES?
The road may seem familiar to a local truck driver, but that doesn't mean your career has to stagnate. On the contrary, it's essential to be open-minded and explore new opportunities, especially in today's dynamic transportation industry. While it's understandable that staying close to home is a priority for many drivers, there are still many ways to earn a living doing what you love, even while venturing out of your comfort zone.
One way to expand your horizons is to consider exploring new routes. For example, while there are not as many Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar accounts as before, Rig on Wheels has dedicated loop positions to counteract this. Even though it may not be a single customer, having these accounts can give local truck drivers stability and consistency in hauling freight on a dedicated lane. In addition, they offer a reliable income source for drivers looking for a more consistent work schedule. By taking advantage of these opportunities, local truck drivers can navigate the challenges of a changing economy and continue to earn a living doing what they love.
Another way to shake things up is to work with different types of cargo. Consider other cargo options if you've been hauling the same freight for a while. For example, flatbeds offer unique possibilities compared to standard trailers and may require specialized equipment and training. But the effort can be worth it as it can open up new job opportunities and potentially higher pay rates.
For those new to long-route driving, go for teams. This allows you to share your driving responsibilities and overcome the loneliness one might feel by driving alone for miles and miles. It also provides a unique opportunity to bond with and work closely with someone else. This can be particularly beneficial for those who enjoy the company of others and thrive in a team environment.
However, always consider all the essential aspects before choosing a job because Choosing The Wrong Trucking Job might be a nightmare for you.
In conclusion, the trucking industry has hit a few bumps lately, and the shortage of local truck driving jobs has left many drivers feeling stuck and frustrated. But there are still opportunities to take a detour and explore new routes. Whether it's long-haul trucking or something completely different, options are waiting for you in the dynamic world of transportation. So don't let the competition get you to downshift gears; hit the gas, and let's navigate this challenging job market together!
Our upcoming blogs will discuss the trucking job opportunities you can consider amid the crisis to make ends meet. So stay tuned, truckers!
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