Trucking News: For America’s Small Truckers, Demand Is ‘Falling Off a Cliff’

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
“There’s no freight, no freight at all,” said Mr. Singh, the owner of Sam Trucking LLC.

Loads that would have paid $1,000 last month, when a rush to restock grocery stores briefly lifted business, now fetch $300 or less, he said. That isn’t enough to cover the pay for drivers, fuel and other costs for his seven-truck fleet which is now sitting parked.
“Nobody can survive six months like this,” Mr. Singh said. “How can I pay my guys, the payments on trucks, the insurance?”

“We anticipate a string of bankruptcies across the transportation sector,” Stephens Inc. analyst Jack Atkins wrote in a research note earlier this month. “We believe the next three to five quarters will be an extremely difficult time for small and mid-size carriers and for bigger truckers with limited liquidity.”

Demand is “falling off a cliff,” said Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents independent truckers. The group is lobbying for more assistance, including seeking additional funding for disaster and small business aid and asking Congress to waive certain taxes and fees, such as a use tax on heavy vehicles.

 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The article covers things pretty well, though the graphs don't tell the true story of just how far rates have fallen. Trying to get a broker to $1.00/mile is a massive battle right now. I get that there are less loads, but it's clear that brokers are upping the percentages they are keeping to try and make up for it, causing a big hurt for the carriers.

We can push for more relief money, but the only thing that is going to fix this is getting businesses opened back up, and quick. If we don't, the virus will be an afterthought compared to the disaster that will be known as America's economy falling off the cliff.

I hate to even think about just how many trucking companies are going to crumble due to this.
 

Snowman_w900

Its all in the reflexes
Premium
The article covers things pretty well, though the graphs don't tell the true story of just how far rates have fallen. Trying to get a broker to $1.00/mile is a massive battle right now. I get that there are less loads, but it's clear that brokers are upping the percentages they are keeping to try and make up for it, causing a big hurt for the carriers.

We can push for more relief money, but the only thing that is going to fix this is getting businesses opened back up, and quick. If we don't, the virus will be an afterthought compared to the disaster that will be known as America's economy falling off the cliff.

I hate to even think about just how many trucking companies are going to crumble due to this.
Its definitely gonna be bad for alot of guys.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Its definitely gonna be bad for alot of guys.

It's gonna hurt more than most realize. I'm sure a few in some niches may not have experienced much downturn, but odds are they will.

I'm doing what I can to slow the bleeding right now, because I damn sure ain't profiting anything. Just praying I can hold out at this point until things begin to turn around.

As we do begin to pull out of this, I predict it will be the brokers who crumble next. Most of those guys seem to be milking every penny they can out of each load they get, at the expense of the carrier right now. When businesses start opening up, and capacity tightens, they will pay for what they did. They will be screaming at the top of their lungs about how the carriers are taking advantage of them.

I'm also concerned about the businesses that will be trying to reopen. They will be struggling. The cost to move their items will go up. The cost of the supplies they need to make their products will go up. On top of that, many will have new loans now that will have to be paid back, not to mention trying to extend out the life of older equipment due to a lack of funds to upgrade anything.

This is gonna hurt for a while, permanently if we don't open things up quickly.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
All it took was a handful of state governors to do this.

Steps need to be taken to prevent them from ever having this kind of power ever again.

Way more to it than that. As for your concern, those states will have to decide how much power their governor should have.

Probably not the most popular way to look at it, but the government handing out money to make everyone feel safe at home was probably the biggest factor here. Most don't understand the economy at all, and many of those that think they do have it wrong.

Had we not printed out trillions of monopoly money to make everyone feel safe about sitting in their houses and hiding under their blankets, there would have been much less cooperation with the idea of shutting down the economy. And the death count would likely have been similar to what it is now.

As it stands, we are giving money to people who didn't need it. We are giving stimulus money to people that didn't even have jobs before the virus came along. We are giving money to people who don't even file taxes.

This was handled wrong on many levels.
 

Duck

Sarcastic remark goes here
Premium
Way more to it than that. As for your concern, those states will have to decide how much power their governor should have.

Probably not the most popular way to look at it, but the government handing out money to make everyone feel safe at home was probably the biggest factor here. Most don't understand the economy at all, and many of those that think they do have it wrong.

Had we not printed out trillions of monopoly money to make everyone feel safe about sitting in their houses and hiding under their blankets, there would have been much less cooperation with the idea of shutting down the economy. And the death count would likely have been similar to what it is now.

As it stands, we are giving money to people who didn't need it. We are giving stimulus money to people that didn't even have jobs before the virus came along. We are giving money to people who don't even file taxes.

This was handled wrong on many levels.
This has nothing to do with stimulus spending.

The lack of freight is because of the business shutdowns. No other reason.

The stimulus wouldn't have even happened if they hadn't shut everything down.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Proof the trucker ain't shit in the grand scheme of things.....

If there's a linchpin in our world economy, it's the consumer. Nothing else matters in the supply chain like the consumer does.

Seeing how the producer's are destroying raw material product, beef, chickens, milk etc all because of zero demand, it will be some time to reboot the system when the consumer is suddenly tossed back into the mix.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Proof the trucker ain't **** in the grand scheme of things.....

More like the old saying that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. Take on link out, the chain falls apart.

in this case, the consumer was taken out, the supplier was taken out, as was many of the links in the middle.

The links that remain have little worth because every link is needed.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
When you factor in segments of trucking that are not hauling or not hauling a lot like automotive the amount of trucks available has increased.
I seen a company that specializes in auto parts pull a few loads from the plant. The plant makes health and beauty products.

Our trucking company brokers out most of the loads that go to the plant and out of the plant. Our company has been pulling them loads with our own drivers and equipment. Keeping our trucks and drivers rolling.
That leaves the companies that used to take our brokered loads on the sidelines.
There is a lot of equipment out there not working.
Will things change when everything ramps up again?
Not really in the case of the plant. They have been bringing in just as much components as they always have and are struggling for a place to store it.
So there will be no uptick on that end.
 

gearjammer

jammer
the problem is free trade is not fair trade anymore and hasn't been for many years.
big business has used every dirty trick in the book to claim most of the wealth
the moral decay and corruption is coming to its logical conclusion.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
the problem is free trade is not fair trade anymore and hasn't been for many years.
big business has used every dirty trick in the book to claim most of the wealth
the moral decay and corruption is coming to its logical conclusion.
Free trade has never been fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not sure what free trade has to do with the sudden decline in available freight to truck ratio and the decline in rates in the last month.
 

gearjammer

jammer
rates
Free trade has never been fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not sure what free trade has to do with the sudden decline in available freight to truck ratio and the decline in rates in the last month.
the rates are probably there but brokers are just sucking more off of them.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
the rates are probably there but brokers are just sucking more off of them.

Yep. The rates have dropped, but nowhere near this far. The amount of loads has greatly decreased so brokers are keeping as much as possible on each load now.

It is what it is, our turn is coming.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think freight fell off a cliff over here in Albuquerque and continued to dig a hole once it hit bottom. That's where I will be tomorrow afternoon once I get unloaded. Watched the board today, and nothing came up, at least not within 200 miles. At this point, I am watching for Thursday loads, and planning for the reality that it might go into Friday before I can pull the trigger on something. Have to watch close in the morning and jump on whatever I see like a vulcher on a rotting carcass.
 

Me & My Truck

Active Member
“There’s no freight, no freight at all,” said Mr. Singh, the owner of Sam Trucking LLC.

Loads that would have paid $1,000 last month, when a rush to restock grocery stores briefly lifted business, now fetch $300 or less, he said. That isn’t enough to cover the pay for drivers, fuel and other costs for his seven-truck fleet which is now sitting parked.
“Nobody can survive six months like this,” Mr. Singh said. “How can I pay my guys, the payments on trucks, the insurance?”
This is price gouging and should be illegal.

Everyone is talking about trucking being so important and yet this is what is happening. How do we get this issue picked up by mainstream media? Those people standing around with signs supporting trucking on the news don't know that we are basically delivering their goods for free or coming out of pocket to deliver them.

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Duck

Sarcastic remark goes here
Premium
Everyone is talking about trucking being so important and yet this is what is happening. How do we get this issue picked up by mainstream media? Those people standing around with signs supporting trucking on the news don't know that we are basically delivering their goods for free or coming out of pocket to deliver them.
That might be a bad idea. We don't need the general public knowing that the supply chain is breaking down. It'll just cause more panic and grocery hoarding.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
We can push for more relief money, but the only thing that is going to fix this is getting businesses opened back up, and quick. If we don't, the virus will be an afterthought compared to the disaster that will be known as America's economy falling off the cliff.
It was quickly apparent to me folks hadn't thought through the impact long term back in March.
 

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