Tag Archives: survey

Convoy survey: Trucking divided on sustainability, climate change

Small and mid-size trucking operators have mixed views on sustainability, especially on the viability of electric vehicles (EVs). There seems to be some split between younger operators and older ones, with the younger ones much more attuned to an acceptance of sustainable requirements.

Convoy, the surveying organization, operates a load matching service, which helps truckers reduce deadhead or empty runs, and therefore makes a contribution to sustainable operation. , as well as earning more for truckers.

It’s no surprise that the initial cost of new EVs is a serious problem for these smaller truckers. Even with lower maintenance and operating costs, the shortage of charging stations and repair facilities means buying a new EV truck is not an option most of these folks are considering.

However, they are concerned about operational cost savings, and the factors preventing EV use should decline in significance as more of them hit the road. When petroleum fuels are so high-priced, the electric alternative looks more practical.

It will be a few years before the number of charging stations will be large enough for many truckers. However, fleets with shorter day-long routes, roughly 250-300 miles or less, which return to a base station, are natural candidates for EV trucks. If manufacturing can get going, we will see these operations choosing new EVs, since the y can control the needed infrastructure.

It will take longer to satisfy the owner-operator crowd that there are enough charging stations. I have not seen a significant study of the density of charging stations or their placement to support general truck movements, say based on the Convoy to-from waybills. Knowing where charging is needed would go a long way toward defining how to proceed.

Alyssa Sporrer Thursday, September 2, 2021

Convoy survey: Trucking divided on sustainability, climate change – FreightWaves

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May

Truck tonnage saw a slight increase in May, according to the latest American Trucking Associations (ATA) survey of its members.

This index is considered quite reliable. Its base year is 2015, so a value of 117.1 shows the percent gain since 2015. On the graph below you can see the big plunge in early 2020 due to COVID, the rapid recovery, and the more recent upward trend. There’s nothing to make you believe the general upward trend over the last 6 months is broken yet.

Source: ATA website https://www.trucking.org/news-insights/ata-truck-tonnage-index-rose-05-may

The index is dominated by results from contract trucking. The ATA release proposes a theory about the relation with the spot freight market, which has been slowing.

If a recession arrives, we can predict a tailing off of the need for trucking. We hear that inventories are replenished at most big box stores, so demand for refilling may be down. At the supermarket we still see spot shortages, but not like over the winter. The threat to trucking volumes would be if consumers slow down their buying, forcing outlets to reduce inventories.

We hear anecdotally almost that the driver shortage is much less severe than it was over the winter. We also hear that more drivers are exiting ownership, which is affecting used truck auction prices. We don’t know if these drivers were captured in the ATA survey.

Perhaps there’s a downturn coming. Transportation is often a reliable index of the quality of the economy.

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May | American Trucking Associations

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Rose 0.5% in May | American Trucking Associations