- Higher demand for same-day delivery, a regulatory wave and a driver shortage may increase the pressures on fleet managers during peak shopping season, Ryder reported last week.
- Fleet managers should ensure truck driver availability by reserving early, and speak to their rental representatives about ELD compliance — although Ryder claims most companies are ahead of the curve with regards to the regulation.
- Trucking companies are also attempting to address the driver shortage by offering guaranteed pay and staggered schedules to improve driver satisfaction and work-life balance.
Ryder's blog may focus on the trucking industry's capacity problem, acknowledging the shortage in drivers and tightened compliance requirements, but following these recommendations can also address the larger problem: trucking is suffering from severely decreased orders on a year-over-year basis.
The Cass Freight Index September report, released this week, showed a 3.1% drop in year-over-year shipments last month marking the 19th month of consecutive decreases in demand. A smaller drop in August had led to a "false hope" for a Q3 recovery, according to the report.
Given this trend, trucking companies will not be disposed to increase the size of their fleets beyond what is necessary for the peak season, which could create an artificial capacity crunch. Early reservations help trucking companies better adjust their expectations, helping both the fleet manager and the industry as a whole.