Regional Market Outlook on Trucking Industry

Positive growth in the US economy, higher consumer demand, and hurricanes impacted the trucking capacity, so the shippers in the current scenario are focusing more on booking capacity rather than negotiating for lower freight prices.

Major trucking companies across all the states are expected to increase their profit margins up to 8–10 percent in the coming months by shifting to demand-based freight rates. This trend could impact the negotiation power of shippers across all industries in the US.

Industry Trends (2018 to 2021):

  • Majority of shippers from the general freight industry are expected to pay 5–10 percent extra on a contractual freight rate and assure volume for certain period of time to trucking carriers. This trend can attract drivers from others industries to engage with such carriers, as the pay is higher
  • Truckload volume is forecasted to grow more than 8 percent between 2018 and 2021, and it is expected that majority of non-asset based truckload carriers would like to use intermodal rail for long-haul transportation to mitigate the increasing operational costs and driver shortages

Trucking Industry Overview – California

Major factors impacting the trucking industry in California are traffic congestion, truck driver shortage, and increase in diesel fuel state excise duty by 20 cents per gallon. Hence, freight rates are marginally higher in California when compared to other states.

Shippers in South California are benefited by a large pool of trucking providers. An expected increase in the government spend in developing transportation facilities around the Southern and Northern part of state results in decrease of congestion issues in the coming years.

California Trucking Industry Estimated Revenue

  • The Californian trucking industry revenue is expected to grow by 5 percent between 2018 and 2022. The major market drivers are electronics manufacturing, building materials, and other FMCG related goods
  • Southern California is a critical region of the US freight movement system, nearly, half of the seaborne cargo enters through the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and flows through the rest of the country
  • Interstates, highways and local roads that carry the highest freight volume in the state are I-710, I-605, SR-60, SR-91, I-5, I-10, I-15, and I-210. These networks provide last mile connectivity to regional ports, manufacturing facilities, intermodal terminals, warehouse and distribution centers, etc.

Dump Truck Transportation Market – US and California

The market for dump truck services is fragmented and competitive in California. Independent carriers, small and medium size companies with less than 10 trucks dominate the market.

There are specific laws and certifications required by the driver to drive the dump truck, such as dump truck operations CBT certificate and dump truck tailgate removal and installation CBT certificate in the US.

  • The US dump truck service market size was $18.30 billion in 2017, and the market is forecasted with a significant growth of 5–6 percent during 2018–2022, due to the growth in construction and mining activities
  • The usage of dump trucks in the construction industry is expected to dominate other industries, like mining and waste collection. Major revenue is generated by the construction activities, on the account of the rise in demand for buildings and growing commercial real estate segment
  • Construction spend (both private and public) increased by 6–7 percent in August 2018; the same trend is expected to continue in the next two years and will complement the growth of dump trucks services across the US and California
  • In the US standard, transfer and roll-off dump trucks are mostly used for transporting gravel, sand, rocks, etc. In the current scenario, the supply of these trucks in the market is on par with the demand, but major concerns are increase in the cost of operating dump trucks and truck driver shortages

Road Freight Index and Shippers Condition Index Analysis

Moderate rise in fuel price and capacity constraints, due to driver shortages, results in higher contractual rates in 2019 and 2020 from the current level. Shippers are advised to re-negotiate rates with primary carriers for specific lanes and also use the hedging process to lock the freight rate for a particular period.

Average Road Freight Cost Index Forecast (2018–2021)

  • According to shippers’ condition index and road freight index, freight rates are expected to increase by more than 5 percent in 2019, and shippers from construction industry could face truck capacity constraints, due to driver shortage. Hence, shippers should secure the truck capacity in advance and also look into the alternative modes in the US
  • Truckload capacity is set to increase by the end of 2019, as net heavy truck orders surge, publicly owned carriers adjust their truck counts to meet continued strong freight demand from shippers, but any increase in capacity is likely to be incremental and slow, as majority of new trucks registered are expected to be idle, due to lack of drivers