Federal regulations, a labor shortage, and high fuel prices are reshaping the trucking sector. What does this mean for shippers — and how can demand-driven logistics providers help?

Between federal electronic logging device (ELD) rules, a shortage of qualified drivers for a surplus of critical jobs, and high fuel prices, it’s safe to say that the trucking sector is facing its fair share of challenges. This crisis couldn’t come at a more critical time. With the e-commerce economy riding a wave of international growth — rising trade tensions permitting — shippers, logistics providers, and carriers alike have incentives to surmount obstacles as they scale.

For shippers concerned with how the trucking capacity crisis might affect their bottom line, it’s important to know the facts. The trucking sector certainly is working through systemic issues, but it still offers value for businesses that need it — so long as they have industry partners to help guide them through an increasingly volatile shipping landscape.

The Industry Reacts

As the trucking sector works through the ELD mandate, searches for qualified drivers — not to mention solutions around the labor shortage — and moves to improve efficiency, professional opinion is mixed. Indeed, a Cortex survey reveals that slightly more than half of respondents (51%) believe that the ELD mandate will benefit them. Specifically, they point to the use of ELDs in boosting their Compliance, Safety, Accountability score.

On the other side of the spectrum, 69% of survey respondents report that ELDs have not boosted driver satisfaction. Additionally, 33% explain that it’s becoming more difficult to hold onto skilled drivers — a high priority thanks to the dearth of skilled workers — because of federal regulations surrounding Hours of Service (HoS) compliance. While opinion is mixed, one thing is clear: the ELD mandate is here to stay.

What the Crisis Means for Shippers

Despite the issues facing the trucking sector, the mode is still an essential piece of the e-commerce supply chain. Accordingly, shippers will need to navigate a logistics landscape where the only constant is change.

When it comes to controlling costs even while relying on limited trucking capacity, it’s essential to understand strategies that can keep you from going into the red — or work with logistics providers who already have experience doing so. For example, consolidation can help shoppers make the smaller, more frequent orders that today’s shipping market demands. By consolidating on-site or off, shippers can combine orders based on due date, point of delivery, and product type. This model allows businesses to make the most of every shipment, especially if they’re moving freight by truck.

Where Demand-Driven Logistics Fits In

Ultimately, the trucking capacity crisis is a challenge that the shipping and logistics industry will have to contend with as a whole. While skilled demand-driven logistics providers can help shippers reap the benefits of road freight while still taking advantage of everything that ocean, air, and rail have to offer, trucking will continue to be an important part of the e-commerce economy.

By partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) partner or integrated logistics services provider (ISP), shippers can count on industry professionals to drive value for their supply chain. Whether they need to consolidate orders or design an operation that makes the most of every mode of freight transportation, the right demand-driven logistics provider will help businesses meet a growing volume of e-commerce orders at a scale that makes sense for their operation.

With more than twenty years of experience in shipping and logistics, Primary Freight has the resources shippers need to thrive. Our team of award-winning supply chain professionals can help your business craft industry-leading solutions for all of your logistics needs. From our state-of-the-art warehouses to our cutting-edge management software, we can offer your team access to the tools and expertise you need to compete.

Want to learn more about how you can grow your business with Primary Freight? Give us a call today at (800) 635-0013.