The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimated that there are roughly 500,000 over-the-road for-hire truckload drivers in the U.S. The ATA also estimated that segment of the industry is currently over 50,000 drivers short, and that number is projected to balloon as high as 175,000 by 2026.
With 2018 coming to a close, US trucking companies are expecting to see freight volumes remain steady if not increase heading into 2019. One factor leading to a rise in truckload shipments can be linked to increased tariffs on Chinese goods by the US. The uptick in tariffs can be traced back September of 2018 when President Trump raised tariffs to 10% on 200 billion worth of imported Chinese products. This news immediately impacted and shifted peak shipping seasons on land and by sea in the US.
Back in November of 2017, Elon Musk unveiled an all-electric battery-powered Class 8 semi-trailer truck prototype. Musk provided specifics of two versions, regular production of 300 and 500 mile ranges. Just last week, the prototype traveled by itself. The Semi has been traveling thousands of miles using the existing Supercharger network. The only necessary help is an extension cord that is needed to plug the truck in when time to charge the vehicle. With the announcement of the prototype, Tesla also announced an ultra high-powered “Megacharger” that will be capable of replenishing 400 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes. .
Every year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) holds International Roadcheck, an enforcement campaign that focuses on safety targeting commercial vehicles and drivers in North America. This year inspections are taking place June 5th through the 7th. In the past, the focus had been on tires and cargo securement. This year, the CVSA announced details stating the focus on hours-of-service compliance. President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol,” The top reason drivers were placed out of service during 2017 International Roadcheck was for hours-of-service violations.”