2018 started as a tough year for the logistics world due to trucking shortages throughout the U.S.
Trucking companies face a shortage of experienced drivers. With new regulations looming, finding a trucker for your import/export needs will become even harder. On the other hand, demand for new trucks reached new highs over the last 14 years, causing a backlog at many trucking manufacturing factories.
According to newly-released figures, in North America, there were 300,000 class 8 trucks sold in first 7 months of 2018. Another 450,000 have been ordered by freight and trucking companies. In June 2018 alone, another 52,000 trucks were sold in North America. High demand has pushed the backlog at factories to nine months from a five-month industry average. Manufacturers are having problems catching up with orders. For example, if you want a new truck today, you will likely have to wait until next year to get it.
The main reason for the high volume of orders is companies looking to cut costs, experts say.
Today’s trucks have better mileage, new technology, and cool gadgets and features to attract and hire more drivers. Companies want to replace older trucks with new, more-efficient trucks in order to reduce overall costs, better face competition, increase their profit margin, and grow.
Most truck factories will need months to catch up with order volume due to a supply shortage. Truck manufacturing companies are having problems getting the parts they need to produce enough trucks to meet demand from suppliers. Regardless of a part’s size – whether one screw or a big engine cylinder – without the parts, you can’t produce the truck, according to trucking industry insiders.
The current low unemployment rate doesn’t help the situation.
Suppliers have problems finding and hiring skilled employees, or filling empty positions at their factories. Since truck-makers work with several suppliers, any labor shortage at even just one supplier causes a delay in finishing the product. Therefore, finding and keeping labor is another obstacle for the truck manufacturing industry.
Manufacturers believe that their suppliers will hire enough people to provide the parts they need to meet high demand, as this demand pressures them to become more productive and efficient. It also forces them to find better solutions to meet overall industry needs.