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Alone on the Open Road: Truckers Feel Like Throwaway People

By Blurtman following x   2017 May 28, 8:07am 1,023 views   7 comments   watch   nsfw   quote     share    

Still, trucking continues to draw plenty of newcomers, reflecting the lack of good alternatives for workers without a higher education (one survey found that 17 percent of truckers had less than a high school diploma). Some have lost better-paying manufacturing jobs in the continuing deindustrialization of America. Others have spent years knocking on the door of the middle class in minimum-wage jobs in fast food or retail. To them, trucking is a step up.
‘It’s Pretty Lonely’

Wayne McLaurin, 46, St. Louis. Driving five years.

I was a customer service rep in St. Louis. When the recession hit, there was no jobs to be found. The only thing that was in the newspaper at that time was nursing and truck driving. Within five weeks, you can be on the road and have a career. I’ve been doing it ever since.
Freedom. Oh My God, I Cannot Tell You.’

Daniel McMillan, 33, and Susan Zimmerman, 48, Danville, Va. Driving two years.

Susan: We met working at McDonald’s. Trucking was my dream first. I raised my daughter and she was going to college, I needed to better myself. Working for McDonald’s for 10 years, trying to raise your child on a McDonald’s wage, you could only rely on tax season to get her stuff. Daniel encouraged me to go get my C.D.L.



1   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Feb 7, 6:02pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

Phenomenal Trucking Boom Ends, Trucking Bust Starts - That U-turn was fast, even for the legendarily cyclical trucking business.

In January, orders for Class-8 trucks — the heavy trucks that haul trailers with goods of all kinds across the US — plunged by 58% from a year ago, to just 15,642 orders. It was the lowest number or orders since October 2016, toward the end of the “transportation recession” when Class-8 truck orders had plunged to the lowest levels since 2009, and truck and engine manufacturers responded with layoffs.

The chart below shows the percent change of Class-8 truck orders for each month compared to the same month a year earlier, which eliminates the effects of seasonality. The year-over-year plunges in December and January are on par with happened during the last transportation recession (data via transportation data provider FTR):

It was, however, a predictable U-Turn. Following the August 2018 data, I asked at the time, When will the biggest-ever boom end? And I cautioned that this boom could not go on like this. A month later, with the September data, I provided the answer: Signs that the Trucking Boom Has Peaked. And I added in the subtitle, “This is why the trucking business is so cyclical – and you can see it coming.”

So what does this mean?

We have already seen that freight shipment volume across all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – in December had declined a tad from a year earlier, according to the Cass Freight Index. The index covers shipments of merchandise for the consumer and industrial economy but does not include bulk commodities, such as grains or chemicals. It was the first year-over-year decline since the transportation recession of 2015 and 2016 — and trucking companies have seen this coming for months:

More to read, ore charts etc.: https://wolfstreet.com/2019/02/06/trucking-boom-turns-to-trucking-bust/
2   MrMagic   ignore (11)   2019 Feb 7, 8:09pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Kakistocracy says

Amazing stuff the last two years...

Kakistocracy says
So what does this mean?

It means Trump took the truck DEPRESSION caused by Obama and turned it into a two year BOOM for the trucking industry. Thank God Obama is gone!!

What other questions can I help you with?
3   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Feb 20, 1:15am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

What Trucking & Freight Just Said About the Goods-Based Economy in the US

Something has to give.

Starting to be a fascinating phenomenon: Rates charged by trucking companies and other transportation providers continue to surge on a year-over-year basis even as the volume of shipments has dropped below where it had been a year ago, while the “capacity squeeze” of 2018 has disappeared, and as the price of fuel is down year-over-year.

Freight shipment volume across all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – in January ticked down (-0.3%) from January last year, according to the Cass Freight Index, the second year-over-year decline in a row. Those two declines are the first since the transportation recession of 2015 and 2016. The extraordinary plunge since the extraordinary peak in shipments last summer indicates that the transportation boom with its double-digit year-over-year increases has fizzled. This chart shows how freight volume changed from the same month a year earlier:

The Cass Freight Index covers shipments of merchandise for the consumer and industrial economy via all modes of transportation, but it does not include bulk commodities, such as grains or chemicals.

The year-over-year comparison in the chart above – for example, comparing January 2019 to January 2018 – eliminates the noise caused by the hefty seasonal fluctuations of the transportation business that occur every year.

But the chart also delineates the notorious cyclicality of the transportation business, where some big up-years are followed by down-years, such as the drop in shipments during the “transportation recession” of 2015 and 2016, when the goods-based sector of the economy itself went into a recession, and only the strength of the service economy kept GDP growth positive (at a miserably low 1.6% in 2016). The transportation recession was followed by a historic surge in shipments from late 2017 through the first half of 2018, causing a capacity squeeze that triggered a lot of hand-wringing among shippers, such as retailers and industrial companies. That boom and capacity squeeze have now been unwound.

This capacity squeeze in the trucking industry, and the subsequent resolution of it, shows up in the DAT Load-to-Truck ratio which tracks the demand-capacity balance. This ratio for “vans” – the trailers that Class-8 trucks haul across the US – surged twice in 2018: First, the spike in January 2018, when use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) became the law, which caused a temporary squeeze as truckers had to rejigger their operations; and then, the flood of demand in the summer blew the ratio out again. But the demand-capacity balance is now reverting to the mean:

A good portion of the equipment and supplies for the industrial sector – manufacturing, oil & gas drilling, construction, mining, etc. – is transported by flatbed trailers. Demand for flatbed trailers skyrocketed in early 2018 as capacity suddenly tightened under the pressure that ELDs put on the industry, while demand was strong. DAT’s Load-to-Truck ratio experienced a historic spike from January through April 2018, then reverted to the mean and overshot the mean on the way down:

Rising capacity and declining shipments, no problem: Freight rates continue to surge. In January, the Cass Truckload Linehaul Index, which tracks per-mile full-truckload pricing and does not include fuel or fuel surcharges, rose 6.4% compared to January 2018. But that year-over-year increase in truckload pricing is backing off from the double-digit spikes last summer:

The average diesel price at the pump in January was slightly down from a year earlier, according to EIA data.

Yet the Cass Intermodal Price Index, which includes diesel prices and fuel surcharges, still rose 6.8% in January, compared to a year ago — but a far cry from the six double-digit year-over-year increases in a row last year.

Intermodal freight in the US is a combination of truck and rail, such as containers hauled by truck and then transferred to rail, or semi-truck trailers that piggyback on special rail cars. The chart below shows the blistering price increases in 2018 and continuing through January 2019, even as fuel prices are faltering:

In terms of overall expenditures for freight: For all modes of transportation combined – truck, rail, air, and barge – shippers spent 7.8% more in January to get their goods delivered than they’d spent a year ago, despite the decline in shipments, according to the Cass Freight Index for Expenditures. This increase in freight spending was caused by the continued though somewhat slower price inflation in transportation services.

In the stacked chart below, where each line represents one year, January 2019 is way above all prior Januaries. Note the seasonality: January usually marks the low point of the year! The year 2018 (black line, on top) was an outlier in the bunch. And January 2019 is an even further outlier:

The above chart shows what inflation in “transportation services” looks like: even as shipments decline, shippers such as retailers and industrial companies, are having to pay a lot more to get their goods to the destination. But this too has started to back off just a tad from the red-hot pricing environment last year.

Ultimately, something has to give: in an environment of weaker shipments and more capacity, freight rates cannot continue to surge.

And given the rising capacity, and the declining shipments, trucking companies have backed off their historic binge of ordering Class-8 trucks. In January, orders for these trucks plunged by 58% from a year ago, to the lowest level since October 2016, toward the end of the “transportation recession” when Class-8 truck orders had plunged to the lowest levels since 2009, and truck and engine manufacturers responded with layoffs. So that U-turn was fast, even for the legendarily cyclical trucking business

4   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Mar 13, 4:00pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Parcel Carriers Slashed 9,700 Jobs in February - A slowdown in hiring in transportation and logistics sector follows strong expansion over previous year

Hiring at parcel-delivery firms plummeted in February as job growth slowed sharply across the broader U.S. economy, even as payrolls expanded in other logistics sectors.

Courier and messenger companies, made up mostly of the companies that deliver packages to homes and businesses, cut 9,700 jobs last month, according to preliminary, seasonally-adjusted figures the Labor Department released Friday. Warehouse operators and trucking companies added a combined 4,800 jobs from January to February.

The slide in parcel hiring was the steepest drop since January 2017 in a sector that includes United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. Package carriers have added 53,100 jobs over the past 12 months, including 14,500 in January, as e-commerce growth led to more delivery demand.

“This was not a great month for couriers and messengers,” said Martha Gimbel, director of economic research at jobs website Indeed.com’s hiring lab.

Delivery-firm wages also have slipped, counter to the broader national trend. The average hourly wage in the courier and messenger sector was about $21 in January, the most recent data available by sector, compared with $22 a year earlier, Ms. Gimbel said.

The 2018 labor agreement between UPS and unionized workers in its main package division “should lower the effective hourly rate of marginal labor,” Bernstein Research analyst David Vernon wrote in a Friday research note.

Ms. Gimbel noted courier and messenger payrolls have grown by 8% in a year and that movements in hiring in specific industry sectors can be volatile from time to time.

“In the long view, growth has been quite strong,” Ms. Gimbel said. “One month should not cause people to panic, particularly when it was a month that was slow all around.”

Overall the U.S. economy added 20,000 jobs in February, far fewer than economists had expected. Goods-producing industries slashed payrolls by 32,000 jobs, potentially a signal of weaker output that would reduce demand for transportation and logistics services.

Construction payrolls shrank by 31,000, and retailers cut 6,100 positions. Manufacturing added 4,000 jobs, down from 21,000 in January, and factory output softened as cold weather in the Midwest caused transportation disruptions and closed factories.

Warehouse operators added 3,900 jobs last month, nearly a third of January’s postholiday hiring surge.

“There’s a real shortage of labor,” Hamid Moghadam, chief executive of industrial real estate giant Prologis Inc., said in an interview this week. The world’s largest owner of warehouses and distribution centers, the company is working with local workforce programs in Southern California and elsewhere to train high-school students for logistics jobs.

Distribution and storage companies are raising pay and other benefits as they compete with Amazon.com Inc. and others for staff while unemployment is hovering around its lowest in decades.

Trucking companies hired 900 workers in February, the 10th straight month of growth as carriers coming off one of the strongest freight markets in years continue adding capacity. Fleets ordered new trucks at a record clip last year, and have been raising pay to boost hiring.

Long-distance truckload employment added about 13,000 workers last year, “nearly double the number added in 2017, helped partly by a 4% increase in average hourly wages,” KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler wrote in a Thursday research note. “In our view, industry employment trends are contributing to reduced driver attrition, further supporting incremental capacity near term.”

5   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Mar 13, 4:06pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Also worth a quick read: Logistics Hiring Pause; Cheap Delivery’s Costs; Apparel's Warehousing Worries


Spoiler Alert - things are not getting better.
6   jazz_music   ignore (12)   2019 Mar 13, 5:23pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Fuck truckers, they could have bought Apple at $32/sh in 2000 and invested in securitized REITs like decent people driving up housing costs.

Let them eat the road until they burn the fuck out and the shareholders have to go and hire a kid or invest in a robot.
7   HonkpilledMaster   ignore (5)   2019 Mar 13, 5:29pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Truckers are all Cis Het Rich White Males.

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