2019 Transportation Industry Update

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In 2018, with a shortage of truck drivers and skyrocketing costs, all industries across North America—including the metal building industry—felt the heat of the seemingly out-of-control transportation industry.  Sectors that rely on freight fell prey to the over 25 percent price increases in Q3 and their earnings took an inevitable hit.  And, though the transportation industry calmed somewhat in Q4, prices were still higher than what we’ve ever seen in the past.


The logical question on everyone’s mind is: “Will rates continue to rise in 2019?”


The short answer to this is “Yes.”  In fact, along with prices, the driver shortage is anticipated to remain at the record levels we saw in 2018.


But it’s not all doom-and-gloom.  According to a Freight Industry Update by Agforce in late November 2018, despite the prediction that rates will rise, the year-over-year percentage of increase should be below 2018 levels.


So while this news is not exactly what we want to hear, it’s not completely negative either.  Keep in mind that the current state of a bustling transportation industry points to a strong economy, and that is indisputably positive.  Furthermore, the transportation industry is taking significant steps to stabilize itself.  As of late 2018, carriers have made it a priority to hire more drivers to accommodate the pains felt from the general lack of trucking capacity.  In addition to this, a decrease in the volume of freight tendered is a real possibility, and this may loosen capacity up a bit.


Stay tuned for more transportation updates from Robertson Building Systems.