Drivers

 

Resources

Read more about the ATA’s challenge to the DOL rule: https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-expresses-strong-support-kiley-cassidy-resolution-protect-independent-contractors

Check out the full NTDC 2024 schedule: https://ntdc.trucking.org/sites/default/files/2024-02/State%20Competitions%20Flyer.pdf

Learn more about trucking job demand: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/transportation-and-material-moving/heavy-and-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers.htm#tab-6

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/jobs-report-truck-transportation-employment-flat-warehouse-jobs-drop-again

General Hiring Slows as Trucking Jobs Continue to Drop

 

Unemployment has been historically low this year, but the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures show hiring slowing. About 150,000 new jobs were added compared to 297,000 in September. But the new number is still robust enough to suggest that companies remain keen on hiring despite high interest rates making borrowing more expensive.

 

Experts say lowered job growth is due to the United Auto Workers strikes which just ended with tentative settlements agreed to by the union and Detroit automakers. The UAW strikes led to a loss of 35,000 jobs in October, which contributed to the unemployment rate rising from 3.8% to 3.9%. On top of that, the Labor Department lowered its job-growth estimate by 101,000 for August and September.

 

While other sectors saw job gains, such as healthcare (58,000) and construction companies (23,000), the truck transportation sector shed 5,000 jobs. That’s the fourth decline in the past five months, with total jobs at 1,578,600, down from 1,609,200 in May for a difference of 30,600 jobs.

 

The good news is that the seasonally adjusted trucking jobs report of 5,000 was a smaller decline compared to July and August. Revised September and August numbers show that the past five months have recorded drops of 1,400 jobs in June, 6,900 in July, 30,700 in August (due to the closing down of the huge Yellow Corp.), and 5,000 in October. There was also a trucking industry job increase of 13,400 in September, possibly due to the BLS overestimating job losses in August.

 

Economists mainly care about seasonally adjusted data, but they don’t advise disregarding non-seasonally adjusted numbers. The jobs total for not seasonally adjusted truck transportation in October was 1,589,700, the same as September, which was revised downward by 2,000 jobs.

 

 

To read more about the drop in trucking industry employment: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/truck-transportation-jobs-drop-again

 

 

Trucking Companies ask States for Parking Funds

 

The 50 state associations of the American Trucking Associations have sent a letter to all governors asking them to make truck parking one of their infrastructure spending priorities. In the letter, the ATA calls attention to the many new resources and funds being provided by the federal government through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which could be used to improve and expand truck parking facilities.

 

The ATA point out to the governors that construction of new truck parking capacity “at rest areas or adjacent to private facilities is eligible for funding, as are improvements that allow for increased parking capacity at nontraditional locations, such as weigh stations and commuter lots, when appropriate. Some states have already utilized these resources to increase parking capacity or improve the operational efficiency of existing facilities.”

 

For some time now, the trucking industry has been insisting on greater investment in truck parking capacity. They point to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which shows that 98% of truck drivers commonly have trouble finding safe parking. They are therefore often forced to park in unsafe or unauthorized areas. Because of this situation, 70% of drivers have had no choice at times but to violate hours-of-service rules.

 

To read more about the trucking industry request for parking funds:

 

 

About Westgate 

You can always count on Westgate Global Logistics to keep you up to date on industry news. Our passion for delivering exceptional logistics services continues to be at our core, and is why we have thrived in this constantly changing industry. CONTACT US today to experience how we can improve your shipping efficiencies.

You may have seen it in the news—a large less-than-truckload carrier went out of business recently, leaving a lot of shippers blindsided and desperately in need of an alternative. Maybe you’re one of them?

Especially if you are in that predicament—but even if you’re not—now is a good time to consider the benefits of working with a family-owned/operated brokerage firm like Westgate for assistance with your LTL shipping needs. What exactly are these benefits? Funny you should ask. They include:

  • Efficiency. Giant companies are inevitably less nimble than smaller ones. A larger staff means more corporate bureaucracy and a longer chain of command, which could lead to sluggish pace as decisions and actions must filter down through personnel. At Westgate, we are not only free of those issues, but we can implement innovative ideas and technological change more seemlessly through our lean group of experienced logistics professionals.

 

  • Flexibility. We can adapt much more fluidly than a larger brokerage, thereby providing you with personalized solutions that meet your changing needs ASAP. We’re agile and can spin on a dime!

 

  • Family values. It may sound corny, but it’s true—because we’re a small company, it’s easier for us to put our values into action. That means we embrace a warm, thoughtful workplace culture, treating our employees with care and respect. And that personal concern extends to our customers, making sure their cargo is properly handled while providing them great communication along the way. Our customers know they can call us at any time and we’re ready to provide solutions to solve their challenges.

 

  • Business know-how. We’re proud of our long reputation for reliability and our customers have learned to expect only the best from us.  Because of our small stature, each of our team members plays a critical role in our success.  As a result, we have developed a trained and knowledgeable staff that is capable of tailoring services to meet the timing and expectations of all different types of businesses.

 

  • Personal service. When you have an urgent issue you need addressed ASAP, you’ll never have to deal with an endless series of automated voice responses and prompts as you wait to speak to someone. At Westgate, you’ll always get a live person who is available to provide immediate assistance. We are positioned to develop personal relationships with clients, and prepared to help you find the right solutions to fit your needs.

 

  • Claims assistance/disputes. Tired of dealing with the challenges associated with pricing disputes, or filing and staying on top of damage or loss claims?  Let Westgate remove these headaches. Outside of furnishing some required documentation, our team will manage the entire claim process until settlement occurs. We also fight pricing disputes for unjustified charges on behalf of our clients.

 

So whether you’ve recently lost your LTL provider or your current one is not giving you the service you need, or you simply want to enjoy the kind of assistance that only a smaller, more dedicated brokerage can provide, please consider contacting us and giving us the opportunity to earn your trust.

 

Manufacturing is Moving Closer to Home 

A resurgence of American Manufacturing is upon us. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chain vulnerabilities have been brought to the very forefront of the industry, revealing both the risks and inefficiencies of relying on outsourced manufacturing operations. As businesses adjust to a post-pandemic world, many consider reshoring or nearshoring their manufacturing operations to bring production closer to home and reduce supply chain risks. The potential for a revitalization of American manufacturing, driven by increased investment in technology, automation, and skilled labor, highlights how the manufacturing industry is experiencing a resurgence.

 

With an increased focus on sustainability, technology advancements, and government policies, domestic production is more appealing than in decades. By adopting more robotics and artificial intelligence in manufacturing, companies can increase speed and efficiency while reducing labor costs. By investing in apprenticeships, vocational programs, and other workforce training initiatives, American manufacturers can develop a more highly skilled workforce better equipped to compete in a global marketplace. Of course, the transformation won’t happen overnight. It will require significant investments, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement. Still, with exemplary efforts and investments, American manufacturing has great potential to see a new epoch of competitiveness and growth.

To read more about supply chain specifics: https://www.supplychainbrain.com/blogs/1-think-tank/post/37079-a-new-dawn-for-american-manufacturing

 

 

FMCSA Considers Proficiency Tests for New Commercial Carriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering new regulations requiring proficiency tests for new carriers. These tests would ensure carriers thoroughly understand safety regulations and compliance requirements before they begin operating, and the initiative intends to reduce the number of accidents and safety violations caused by carriers who need to be adequately trained. Under the proposed rule, new carriers must demonstrate proficiency in several areas, including safety, regulatory compliance, and business fundamentals. While this proposal is still in its early stages, it has the potential to improve the trucking industry’s safety significantly. The proposal has received mixed reactions from industry experts and stakeholders, with some arguing that the added requirements would create unnecessary barriers to entry for new carriers. In contrast, others believe the tests would be a valuable way of ensuring that carriers are prepared to operate safely and effectively. Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.

 

 

 

Top Trucking Talent: A Look into the Competitive World of Truck Driver Championships

Truck driving enthusiasts, buckle up! The 2023 State Truck Driving Championships schedule has been announced and is set to be a thrilling event. Starting in July, truckers from across the United States will compete in regional competitions for professional truck drivers to showcase their skills in categories like vehicle inspection, backing, and driving courses. The winners of the state finals will then have the opportunity to represent their state at the National Truck Driving Championships in August. The annual event is an excellent opportunity for drivers to showcase their skills, demonstrate their knowledge of safety and regulations, and connect with other drivers and industry experts. As the world continues to rely on the trucking industry for transportation, events like these are essential to acknowledge the vital role played by truckers and provide a platform for drivers to connect and showcase their skills while ensuring they keep up with the latest safety standards and practices.

To see the full schedule: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/2023-state-truck-driving-championships-schedule

 

 

 

 About Westgate 
You can always count on Westgate Global Logistics to keep you up to date on industry news. Our passion for delivering exceptional logistics services continues to be at our core, and is why we have thrived in this constantly changing industry. CONTACT US today to experience how we can improve your shipping efficiencies.

On May 10th, President and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), Anne Reinke, testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on behalf of freight brokers. She addressed the challenges faced by 3PLs and offered solutions to ease supply chain disruptions. Reinke also emphasized the need for a better safety rating system and the fight against fraud in the logistics industry, estimated to cost $800 million.

Westgate has been a long time member and supporter of the TIA, which not only sets the ethical standards for the freight brokerage industry, but also actively lobbies on our behalf regarding important issues affecting our businesses.

Read the full article here: LINK

 

There was once a time when private fleets had a clear advantage in the pursuit of hiring truck drivers. But the COVID-19 pandemic caused many disruptions in nearly every segment of the supply chain that we’re still feeling today.

Freight demand has been rising which means that equipment capacity and trained drivers are in high demand as well. But it’s not just high demand stretching available drivers thin, the trucking industry has about 80,000 fewer available drivers today compared to a year ago.

Even before the pandemic caused many older truckers to retire for health concerns, trucking was already dealing with issues of drivers retiring. According to the National Transportation Institute (NTI), retirement accounts for 54% of the driver shortage we’re facing today.

“These challenges aren’t entirely new, but the pandemic accelerated them,” said Jim ­VonAchen, director of transportation support for McLane Co., a major distributor of groceries and packaged goods based in Temple, Texas.

“There’s just a lot more competition in every segment of the freight and transportation business,” said Brian Johnston, senior director of transportation at Core-Mark International — one of the largest distributors of fresh food, snacks, and tobacco goods to the convenience retail industry.

The increased freight demand brought on by the pandemic isn’t the only factor in the increasing shortage of available driver though. Other factors contributing to the shortage are:

  • Truckers are retiring
  • Other industries are poaching drivers
  • The FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse makes it harder for cited drivers to move from one carrier to another
  • Limited seating capacity due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements means driver schools are graduating 30% to 40% fewer drivers

 

This means that private fleets will have to fight even harder to recruit drivers moving forward. Companies need to be more creative in what they are offering to drivers in order to get them to sign on – and stay on. Some companies are offering:

  • Increasing pay rate
  • Safety bonuses and recognition
  • More flexible work schedules, including shorter shifts
  • Programs targeting military veterans that utilizes their military training experience
  • Apprenticeship programs for warehouse workers to transition to driver positions

 

“Drivers want to feel that they are heard and will have someone who will listen and act on their concern,” said Jane Jazrawy, CEO of CarriersEdge, an Ontario, Canada-­based company that develops compliance and safety training tools for fleets. “They just don’t want to be referred to as a truck number.” That’s why, in the midst of this seemingly epic driver shortage, we’re actually seeing a dramatic increase in truck driver hires in the smaller companies.

Sources: FMCSA, QualifiedCarriers.com, Tucker Company Worldwide, Inc.

That’s why working with a smaller company, like ours, can help you stay a step ahead of the rest. It may sound like a cliché, but we value our employees, our customers and the drivers who are hauling our customers’ freight. It’s our goal to ensure that they feel like they are part of the Westgate family.

Westgate has always been committed to fostering long-lasting relationships with our carriers which, in turn, allows us to deliver the best quality services to our customers. See for yourself why businesses depend on us to improve their shipping processes. CONTACT US today!

Temperatures and Freight Costs Are on the Rise This Summer

 

According to data provided by Cass Information Systems (NASDAQ: CASS), freight costs saw a surge in June and are expected to continue to rise moving forward.

The expenditures component of the Cass Freight Index increased 56.4% year-over-year and was 11% higher than in May. In fact, compared to 2019, the expenditures index was up 27.9%

The difference in the year-over-year numbers has been greatly affected by a steep drop in demand due to world-wide COVID-related lockdowns during the same period in 2020. This trend of increasing rates will likely continue due to the widespread lack of drivers, warehouse space, and equipment like trucks and containers.

“Tougher comparisons in the coming months will naturally slow these year-over-year increases, but extraordinary growth rates will continue in the near term, driven by increases in both shipment volumes and freight rates,” Tim Denoyer of ACT Research explained.1

Many industry experts expect the capacity constraints to ease up in the near future as the driver employment rate increases in response to higher pay which should, in turn, change the trajectory of truckload rates.

“Even with material supply constraints, the freight cycle remains in high-growth mode, benefiting from a strong retail economy, tight inventories, and a persistent backlog of container ships anchored in the San Pedro Bay,” Denoyer said. He believes the industrial sector will begin to catch up to broader demand as “record capital goods demand and likely infrastructure programs” play out. 1

The current capacity backdrop could begin to loosen as transportation payrolls expand and extended unemployment benefits have already expired in some states. Additionally, waning stimulus payments and supply constraints (drivers, trailers, and chassis) are weighing on volumes.

Though 2020 was marked by low levels of supply and exceptionally high demand, these levels will not last indefinitely. As they say, the cure for high prices is high prices; the market will eventually correct itself.

 

 

Becoming a Truck Driver Looks Good Through Higher Pay Tinted Glasses…

 

Driver recruitment and retention remains the top priority throughout the trucking industry.

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 qualified CDL holders are not currently working due not only to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also increased compliance with the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. Diminished driver school graduation rates, early retirements, and more than 75,000 Clearinghouse violations are also some factors for the reduced number of drivers.

Data shows that driver hiring conditions are getting better, according to Tulsa, Oklahoma-based software-as-a-service provider Tenstreet. A recent report from the company that helps carriers better recruit and onboard drivers noted a “positive driver hiring outlook on the horizon.”

There has been a “slow but steady climb back to January levels” the data shows, with the number of drivers filling out job lead forms and applications continuing to move higher. January is usually a busy month for activity as drivers tend to inquire about changing fleets or jobs at the beginning of each year.

“Overall, we’re starting to see the same general seasonal trend lines the trucking industry is used to, with applications taking a hopeful turn upward in May, which will ideally mirror 2019’s trend of an increase in applications over the summer and into the fall,” the report read.2

A press release cited support from customers and their understanding of “the growing needs of the market” as a catalyst for the pay raise.

 

See for yourself why businesses are depending on Westgate to improve their shipping processes and to keep them informed of industry trends. 

REACH OUT to us to experience our boutique approach to streamlining logistics through an extensive network of resources, trained brokerage experts and unique personal service.

 

 

SOURCES:
1. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/freight-costs-see-june-surge-tougher-comps-coming</a>
2. https://www.freightwaves.com/news/driver-employment-market-may-be-improving-amid-historic-pay-increases