Every business has its own set of issues and concerns and as such there are several important trucking industry factors which can have a major impact on your overall operation.
These factors can be small enough to affect only your company or major enough to impact the entire trucking industry. Sometimes these can even have an indirect effect on other markets and industries that rely on the trucking industry!
But first things first, you might be wondering, “What is meant by trucking industry factors?”
That is a very valid question. Obviously, I dedicated an entire article to it. Well, trucking industry factors are just that, things that will have an effect on your business, or the industry as a whole. Now these can be either positive (good) or negative (bad). This usually depends on what aspect the ‘it’ actually influences.
The thing with the trucking industry (or the transportation industry as a whole) that makes it unique is that every other industry relies on it. This reliance is either direct or indirect but nonetheless the impact is there. Before I continue, can you name one industry that doesn’t rely on trucking? Take your time!
That’s right none. Nada. Zip. Zilch! Everything must get transported from one place to another. To include the trucks used to haul the deliveries. The auto manufacturer uses trucks to deliver the parts. Service stations use them to deliver fuel. Stores use them to get their products.
Even the military uses the trucking industry to get their equipment from one point to another. From the seed farmers use to plant their fields to the tractors and fertilizer they use, the trucking industry is/was there.
Getting livestock to market, cotton to the processing plant, construction equipment to the jobsite… need I go on?
Nothing gets done without the trucking industry’s support. That is why it is important to remember that various trucking industry factors often can have a far reaching effect on more than just the trucking industry itself.
At the same time there are so many factors that are not a part of the trucking world that can equally affect the industry. What’s even crazier is that some of these factors will have an influence in more than one area!
Now, keep in mind many of the trucking industry factors are both internal and external. It all gets kind of weird I know. But there is an industry built around studying and working with these trucking industry factors, actually every industry has this.
So much so, that they have their own term; Social, Legal, Economic, Political, Technological, commonly referred to as SLEPT analysis. This is basically a study of the things that have an impact -external environmental influence on a industry (in this case trucking/transportation).
They are carried out by industry and corporate planners enabling them to create well developed plans and strategies.
Well, I guess enough build-up so here, in no special order (as everyone will have different view depending on their individual situation), are 25 constant factors affecting the trucking industry.
1. Trucking Industry Factors – Fuel Cost:
This is the one that has the greatest impact on your organization. Truck can’t run without fuel. You have no control over what the price per barrel of oil will be, thus you’re at their mercy.
When prices are high you might have to pass that added cost on to your customers. If your company relies of the oil industry to operate and prices are low, you’ll run fewer trucks.
2. Trucking Industry Factors – Government Regulations:
There are too many government regulations and organizations to list, but to just name a few:
- Department of Transportation (DOT)
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- And to not forget the other federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.
3. Trucking Industry Factors – Competition:
There are so many trucking companies in the USA that is can be overwhelming. Some work only in the local area while others are regional, still others run nationwide.
So it can be hard to stay competitive, while contending with salaries and other cost (such as rising fuel, added governmental fees).
4. Trucking Industry Factors – Safety Rating:
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5. Trucking Industry Factors – Maintenance cost:
This is a hard one to narrow down. Now you might not think about it a lot until the bill comes in, but truck maintenance cost can cut into your company’s profits faster than kids can empty a candy dish!
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6. Trucking Industry Factors – Operational Cost:
These are quite simply the cost of doing business. Regardless the size and scope of your business (small trucking company or big trucking company) you will have to pay rent, utilities, equipment, office staff and drivers salary, the above mentioned maintenance, insurances, marketing, legal, and all the other cost related to running a successful trucking operation.
7. Trucking Industry Factors – Insurances:
Like I had said in the beginning, many of these costs are intertwined. Insurance, is a MUST have. It is actually a legal requirement to have all your trucks insured properly.
But you will also need to have your freight and company insured. Don’t forget about actual building and employee insurance. There are ways to cut corners, but insurance is still something you must have.
8. Trucking Industry Factors – Weather Conditions:
This is the one that causes almost more headaches than the governmental regulators!