After 9-11 insurance rates on Independent Truck Drivers and smaller trucking companies showed an average increase of over 30%. Larger trucking companies are generally self insured, however incessant lawsuits have also hurt them and caused higher self insurance funds causing decreased earnings and thus higher over all shipping rates to the consumer.
Insurance costs in trucking passed onto consumers and vendors; and after 9-11 there have been many other reasons for high insurance on the businesses, many smaller trucking companies are really hurt by this; and regulations and fuel costs are tough also with increased competition from large super consolidated trucking companies. Trucking will have to find new and innovative ways to improve efficiencies to continue. One thing which is becoming more typical is the piggy back on the flat bed rail car approach, where the trailer is delivered across the country and the tractor hooks up to it and takes it to it’s final destination. This means that fewer trucks will be on the road and the driver shortages that the industry is experiencing will not increase safety issues with newer and inexperienced drivers filling those jobs. Each time a truck is in an accident with a four-wheeler, the DOT does a report and this increases the costs for all trucking companies and adds to even more regulations. As more cars are sold in the US and the auto manufacturers continue to make and sell more cars to keep the factories open and increase profits in the sector we are seeing the freeways and large cities have huge peak time traffic jams.
We are seeing more accidents too involving trucks too. Much is being done to prevent these increases in accidents to protect the public, although we are also seeing less attention to the road with cell phones, DVD players, Surround a sound entertainment centers, etc creating sensory perception over load. The military has done testing in combat stress situations on this and the reality of the performance of the human brain with such distractions is all to real and can lead to accidents as well. Looks like trucking is getting hit from all directions, but in the end the truckers deliver the goods. We should be proud of our enduring truck drivers. Think about it and Keep on trucking America.
“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs