The supply (capacity) side of the freight market has become very tight in 2020, but not because equipment is scarce. A driver shortage, more than anything else, has put the trucking industry in a position to chase rate increases for perhaps the next two years.
“The driver shortage is driving the current environment,” said Paul Kroes, market insights leader, North America, for Thermo King during a webinar on Tuesday.
The trucking industry has about 80,000 fewer available drivers compared to a year ago, he said. The federal stimulus increased unemployment benefits and “couched” a lot of drivers who discovered they could earn more by staying home than being out on the road, he said.