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March 15, 2018

Current Challenges In The Trucking Industry

Recent circumstances have created what some might call a “perfect storm” for trucking companies and purchasers of truck services. Driver shortages, increased demand, winter storms, and the introduction of the new ELD (electronic logging device) have all contributed to supply chain issues throughout North America. And the consequences could be with us for many months ahead.

“According to an industry analysis by DAT Solutions, just one truck was available for every 12 loads needing to be shipped at the start of 2018, which is
the lowest ratio since 2005.” – NPR, January 9, 2018 “… the improved economy, peak retail season, holiday shipping and significant winter storms have resulted in truck availability at historically low levels.” – Domtar, January 18, 2018

“A nationwide truck shortage is forcing thousands of shippers into a tough choice: postpone all but the most important deliveries, or pay dearly to jump to the front of the line.” – Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2018

“The electronic logging device mandate only exacerbates a chronic shortage of drivers … the capacity shortage is here — and it’s not going away any time soon.” – supplychaindive.com, January 26, 2018

If you’ve been affected by shipping delays and higher freight costs, you are not alone! It is a significant issue affecting almost all industries in North America right now.

At Friesens, we rely primarily on LTL (less-than-truckloads) carriers to transport finished products to our customers, and although there have been only a few bumps along the way in the last two months, we are anticipating that the truck and trucker shortage will affect us more significantly over the next few months. We have been working with our primary carriers to ensure timely delivery of finished goods. We have been smoothing over the rough spots as best we can, but we are expecting that there will be more challenges ahead, including rate hikes as the trucking companies come to the realization that rising costs must be passed on. We will keep you apprised of the situation as best we can through our customer service reps and our sales reps.

One way to assist us, and to increase the probability that you will receive your books when you want them, is to provide us with shipping instructions as soon as possible. When we receive shipping instructions within a few days of the planned ship dates, it provides very little time for us to process the instructions and arrange for the correct freight services.  As with job specs and confirmed quantities, the sooner we receive the shipping instructions, the better.

Thank you for your business and for any assistance you can provide in this regard!