An increase in semi truck orders may be positive news for the economy but bad news for those hiring. Semi trucks are often used as an indicator of overall economic health, as it generally indicates that more goods are being purchased and transported. Semi orders have reached 42,300 as of September 2018, which is an over 90 percent increase year-over-year. When combined with an increase in jobs reports, this indicates positive trends.
Truck Driver Shortage Led to Delays and Increased Costs
Earlier in the year, a truck driver shortage had led to delays and increased costs throughout a wide variety of goods. Shortages have been occurring due to a lack of new truck drivers, as the occupation has proven to be unappealing to millennial workers. As workers now begin to take more jobs in the trucking industry, it becomes more feasible to put more trucks on the road. Not only is this indicating a positive economic change, but it's also creating additional jobs for the millennials willing to take them.
Nevertheless, reduced amounts of truck drivers are still forecasted as demand increases. It's likely that truck drivers themselves will see salary increases as it becomes necessary to court them, while truck drivers may become the limiting factor regarding whether goods can be delivered effectively.
Truck Makers Struggle to Keep Pace With Demand
Truck makers are optimistic about the current economic situation, but also fear they may not be able to keep pace with demand. If they are not able to keep a pace of demand, shipping may again increase in price — but this is still positive, as it means that businesses will be investing more in shipping. More companies are now shipping items on demand rather than keeping them warehoused in local distribution centers, which is leading to an increased need for shipping services, as well as some dramatic growing pains.
As truck shipping continues to grow, shipping companies may see an increased need for trucks, replacement parts and truck-related labor. Altogether, this could create some logistical problems and pressures for shipping companies that are still growing or shipping companies that are presently in emerging markets.
Overall, while a surge in semi trucks is good for the economy, it's also very likely to lead to increased pressure when hiring new truck drivers and when retaining existing employees. Truck drivers are now significantly in demand, which means they can go for more competitive positions, which will usually mean positions at larger trucking companies. Smaller companies may find it difficult to hire the best staff, even as they begin to see a substantial increase in shipping demand.
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