Cleveland Trucking Companies “Cautiously Optimistic” About 2020
Like the national trucking industry, Cleveland trucking companies have been working to acclimate to rapid changes and significant challenges that have cropped up in recent years. Among these:
- Too much capacity (mostly added to the market in 2017 and 2018, followed by freight market slowing in 2019);
- Depressed spot rates and contract rates;
- Rising carrier costs (including insurance, equipment and driver wages);
- Higher demand for faster deliveries;
- Driver shortages;
- Increasingly stringent federal safety regulations (with more hours of service rules likely on the way).
Although some of this was actually good for shippers (lower spot and contract rates, for instance), the trucking industry saw a wave of bankruptcies (nearly 800, according to FreightWaves.com). While concerning, the upside of this is that national trucking overcapacity was reduced by about 24,000. This is why highway transportation experts at the recent National Industrial Transportation League summit expressed “cautious optimism” about 2020.
Cleveland Trucking Companies With Staying Power
It’s helpful for manufacturers and shippers to understand that the $700 billion trucking industry has always been somewhat cyclical in nature, prone to the occasional dramatic boom or bust. Consider that the cost-benefit of scoring super cheap shipping is outweighed if quality or service suffers because a carrier is stretched too thin. Plus, the last thing you want is to be scrambling to find another carrier last-minute because yours abruptly shut down operations. Ensuring intact, on-time deliveries is just as essential to a shipper’s bottom line as the quality of the goods being shipped. Choosing a trucking partner with staying power can prove critical.
The Cleveland trucking companies that endure are those that have proven:
- Committed to safety;
- Dedicated to excellent service.
This year marks 39 years since On Time Delivery & Warehouse launched its first fleet. We would never have made it this far if we didn’t stay true to these values.
It also helps that we’ve diversified our services, offering full truckload, less-than-truckload, hazmat certification, liftgate deliveries, hot shot trucking, same- and next-day deliveries and intermodal freight. Some of these services may fare better during an economic crunch, but we ensure our operations have staying power so that we can remain dependable for our customers.
We also invest in our employees, giving incentive to skilled, experienced drivers not only to come work for us but to stay working for us.
Many carriers are relieved that 2019 is firmly in the rearview mirror, and expectations are the supply-and-demand will equalize over the next few months. This will offer greater market stability.
Meanwhile, all supply chain managers are also keeping a close eye on the ongoing impact of tariffs and the resulting disruption of trade flows. These have proven adverse to almost all transport modes. Progress on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and a pending trade deal with China could help propel more positive movement.
No matter what the future holds, we’re committed to staying the course.
Trucking Searches for 2020 Vision, Aug. 5, 2019, By William B. Cassidy, JOC.com
More Blog Entries:
Effective Communication Key in Cleveland Trucking Logistics, Dec. 15, 2019, Cleveland Trucking Company Blog