When Will the Truck Market Come Back?

The trucking industry has gone through some ups and downs over the past several years, largely centered around two intertwined issues: a shortage of truck drivers and the low wages paid to truck drivers. Drivers who have seen their wages decline over the years are wondering if and when the industry will recover. Of course, it’s impossible to predict for certain. Wages and the success of the industry depend on a number of complicated factors: the economy as a whole, freight demand, government regulations, competition for positions, and more. Let’s talk about these various issues and what they likely mean for the trucking industry in the rest of 2016 and moving forward.

The American Economy

The first major factor affecting not only trucking, but all industries, is the American economy. So far in 2016, the economy has been recovering at a consistent but slow pace. If the economy continues to grow steadily, that will correspond with positive growth in the trucking industry. Strong industry and demand for freight help to keep trucking rates high. In May this year, for example, tonnage increased by 2.7%. Higher freight demand usually corresponds to bigger paychecks for drivers.

On the other hand, a strong U.S. dollar in comparison with foreign currencies leads to a decrease in exports, which is bad for commercial trucking. The U.K.’s recent exit from the European Union, and the subsequent shift in currencies, may cause demand for exports to be rocky in the coming months.

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