LTL Trucking: What Is It and How Will It Affect My Business?

LTL trucking is a great shipping solution for businesses because products can be shipped faster than if they had to wait to fill the entire truck. With the continued rise in customers expecting shortened shipping times; many businesses are starting to navigate this territory.

The shipping industry has seen its fair share of struggles through the years, but 2018 looks to be more promising than prior years. At least this is the case for less-than-truckload (LTL trucking), which is experiencing higher than average shipment sizes and increased revenues. While the growth in demand for LTL shipping is positive for the trucking industry, it does come with a few concerns for courier companies and the businesses they serve.

Courier services that offer LTL trucking are experiencing some setbacks with the recent boost in popularity, including:

Lack of Drivers

Being a truck driver was once a popular occupation, but in recent years many drivers are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce. The number of new drivers entering the workforce doesn’t match the amount retiring causing a shortage of drivers. It is difficult to pinpoint the reason but combine long hours, travel, time away from family, and the idea of self-driving trucks on the horizon; it is no longer an appealing career. Not as many drivers results in fewer trucks on the road and creates a backlog in shipping.

Over Saturation

More and more courier companies are operating at full capacity and simply can’t handle additional shipment contracts. It is no longer uncommon for shippers to be told they can’t handle any more shipments even if they already have a contract in place. It is also preventing courier companies from being able to respond or assist with temporary shifts in demand such as those that occur during the Holiday season.

Increased Government Regulations

December 2017 was the first deadline for trucking companies to comply with the ELD mandate requiring all trucks to have an electronic logging device installed. The device tracks the number of hours a driver is on the road. The expense of installing these devices on an entire fleet of trucks is significant which forced some courier companies to take a portion of trucks off the road.

Preparing for the Future

Although the increased demand in LTL trucking has posed a few hurdles to the industry, there are several attainable solutions that we can begin to implement. The key to this dramatic growth is improving the manufacturing sector and reducing truckload supply. This, in turn, will drive down overall truckload weight and encourage movement toward LTL trucking. Many companies are also partnering with vendors, creating mutually beneficial industry relationships, to combat the shortage of drivers. Consolidating under-utilized truckloads provides an opportunity to optimize efficiency. While the future of LTL trucking is expected to prosper, courier services need to begin preparing now.

Econo-Courier is an expedited trucking, warehousing, and logistics company located in New Jersey. Our team is ready to assist you with your LTL Trucking needs. Contact us at (800) 526-9094 for additional information and learn how we can help your business grow.