Surveys can be used to learn all kinds of interesting tidbits about how people really feel. Owner-operators recently completed a survey from FreightWaves Research where they were asked how they were doing in the current market.
The main question that got Back The Truck Up’s attention was whether you will stay in the trucking industry or will you go out to the pasture. Thirty-five percent of self-identified owner-operators plan to exit if the market does not take an up-swing in the second half of 2023.
What would happen if over a third of O/Os left the industry? We would really have supply chain issues from a driver shortage if that is the case.
In another part of the survey, 21% of respondents said that they have problems finding loads. This could be linked to both volumes of loads available and the rates they were offered.
Personally, I believe someone needs to put a hard stop on the falling truck pay scale. Cents-per-mile pay rates are an underlying cause and I hope one day we see truckers paid on an hourly basis with a piecework rate for shorter runs.
Donny Gilbert, FreightWaves' Director of Customer Solutions, was on Feb. 20's episode of What The Truck?!? to discuss the recent truck rates and the pressure they place on trucking companies. - Video: What The Truck?!?
In the income versus expenditures comparisons, the median owner/operator income rose from $224,000 to $240,000. Unfortunately, expenditures offset that increased pay by increasing themselves by 22.9% this past year.
You can’t stay in business if you can’t pay the bills. Fuel, payroll, and maintenance are the big three expenditures in trucking and are a constant drain of income that can’t be stopped if a truck is rolling.
Drivers are hoping for a market turnaround, or at least an L-shaped economy so they can stop hemorrhaging funds. It might mean the continuation of the modern supply chain if O/Os and others start exiting the trucking industry.
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