2021 has its work cut out. With all the disappointments that 2020 had presented to the general public, who knows where this new year can truly take us. Especially when it comes to the capacity of trucking. After all, spot rate environments depend on a stable market to see it through. Plenty of transportation providers find it tough to balance growth vs. cost control. Overextending to the struggle fleets may have when it comes to meeting the price drops necessary just to continue their roll. And if the demand overwhelms capacity, any trucking company, no matter how big or small can forget about it. Chances are, the growth opportunities are squandered by the odds stacked up so high. Therefore, you can’t wonder “if.” You have to wonder “when.”
How Blurry Is The Capacity Of Trucking?
The few measures appearing from all this in the for-hire or non-private trucking space. Even the Bureau of Labor Stats will put a monthly figure of employees in the truck transportation section of the industry to be progressive for the make or break. And this is all-encompassing for the employees of carriers, like drivers and back-office workers.
The figure for the non-seasonal truck transportation levels aren’t as near as they were back in November. Since November of 2019, there have certainly been near 15.3 million folks employed in the trucking industry. Within the past year, that figure was as close as 14.8 million. Therefore making a difference of 500,000 jobs,
Trucking hasn’t entirely recovered the original employments levels since the pandemic became inavoidable back in March 2020.
Carriers have recently been very careful to invest in any growth at all, mainly since they were hit harshly in April by low volumes.
That said, there was a crazy overinvestment since 2018. This then repeated in late 2020 with orders for Class 8 trucks hitting about 47,034 units in November.
All this said, watch the capacity very carefully. Because the companies that already have an idea of what’s to come, will be making drastic decisions to keep the boat afloat. Even if it means throwing some crew members overboard.