In order to be successful, a business owner needs to not only be resourceful, but he or she must also have the necessary resources in order to move their company forward, especially when operating within an ever-changing economic landscape.
Even though the trucking industry is one of the fastest growing industries, thousands of trucking companies are forced to close their doors to the public each year. While trucking business loans are helpful in times of financial crisis, there’s still much to learn if one is to overcome the challenges that plague the trucking industry.
With the right resources, every entrepreneur can easily overcome the obstacles and make way for success. Here’s a list of the most common challenges trucking businesses face today:
- Shortage of Drivers
According to the American Trucking Association, there are still about 60,000 positions for drivers that remain unfilled. Moreover, the shortage is also said to be growing due to the aging population of truck drivers in the country. Studies show that the average driver is 49 years old. Without being replaced by those from a younger generation, the shortage will only get worse.
The ATA has also predicted the number of vacant truck driving positions may increase as much as 250,000 by the year 2022 if this issue is not addressed.
2. Increasing Fuel Costs
The challenge of keeping up with rising fuel costs is threatening a lot of trucking businesses. Fuel costs make up about 20% of the total operating costs of most trucking companies. As the prices for fuel increase, so too are companies forced to charge higher prices for transportation to their customers in order to avoid losses.
When companies experience a steep increase in charges from trucking companies, there are those who may decide to cut back on the frequency of their deliveries.
3. Poor Road Infrastructure
Roads and bridges in the United States have been one of many major problems facing the trucking industry. According to the most recent infrastructure card, U.S. roads and bridges received a D, and C, respectively. Poor quality roads can lead to traffic, delivery delays, and inefficient fuel use.
Other than that, poor road conditions can also lead to truck damage. This adds more strain to the finances of the trucking companies. Poor public infrastructure can also contribute to an increase in incidences such as traffic accidents and fatalities.
The need to improve infrastructure is important for the trucking industry because it will assist them in running their operations smoothly. Problems with road quality can significantly affect the profitability of trucking companies if these issues remain unaddressed.
4. The Health of Truck Drivers
Since truck drivers are most likely to lead a sedentary lifestyle due to the nature of their work, there are those who become prone to developing health issues. Lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are among the top health issues truck drivers face. Moreover, many of them also do not have health insurance to cover the costs of healthcare.
Aside from that, the constant process of loading and unloading heavy cargos can also take a toll on drivers. Improper sitting positions while driving for long periods of time can also contribute to muscle pain which can eventually lead to musculoskeletal injuries.
These kinds of health issues can result in truck drivers working in an inefficient manner and oftentimes, this is the reason why truck drivers are forced to retire early.
5. Cash Flow Problems
Like other businesses, cash flow problems are also among the top challenges trucking companies face. Since they mostly handle large shipments and their clients generally pay for their services on 60 to 90-day terms, a lengthy period like this oftentimes results in a large cash flow gap in the company.
Furthermore, damage in the shipment due to unforeseeable or uncontrollable circumstances can also delay a clients’ payments.
This makes it even more problematic for trucking companies. Some may even face big losses that even financing alternatives cannot solve.
6. Safety Issues
Truck drivers also deal with a lot of safety issues on the job. The long hours of driving can lead to sleep deprivation and fatigue. In fact, many cannot afford to stop or rest, even for short periods, because of the pressure of making the delivery on time. A lack of sleep and fatigue can make drivers prone to road accidents.
Other distractions such as the use of smartphones and multitasking while driving can also be sources of distraction to truck drivers. This poses a great risk to the trucking company not only because they’re putting their shipments at risk, but due to an increase in the risk of danger to truck drivers.
7. Lack of Parking Space for Trucks
In addition to safety issues, there’s also the problem of limited parking spaces where drivers can pull off-road and take mandatory rests. With the increasing number of trucks on the road, finding an adequate place to park becomes more challenging for drivers.
Many are left with no choice but to park in an undesignated and or unsafe area. This poses a great dilemma for drivers as it poses a huge risk if and when they’re caught in violation of the rules by authorities.
Learn How You Can Leverage Trucking Business Loans in Overcoming These Challenges
One way of preparing for the future is to secure financing for your trucking business. Without it, companies can easily face huge losses that can endanger their business.
If you as a trucking business owner find yourself facing the issues as discussed in this report, don’t hesitate to call the experts at today for more information and direction.
When you do, you will learn how you can easily face and overcome many of the challenges you face once you have the financial resources in hand that are now available for trucking companies.