Welcome back to another edition of Randall-Reilly’s Weekly Report. Get all of the latest recruiting data and our story of the week in the full report.
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Truck Driver Searches
|WoW: ∇ Down 21%|
|MoM: Δ Up 9%|
|YoY: Δ Up 51%|
|WoW: Δ Up 2%
*Sets another record high.
Volume by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 3%|
|WoW: Refrigerated Δ Up 3%|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 2%
*Sets an all-time high record for the 9th time in 10 weeks.
|WoW: Δ Up 5¢ per mile
*4th consecutive week rates have reached record levels.
Clicks On Truck Driver Postings
|WoW: Δ Up 17%|
|MoM: Δ Up 37%|
|YoY: ∇ Down 15%
|WoW: ∇ Down 5%|
Truck Posting by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van ∇ Down 5%|
|WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 7%|
|WoW: Flatbed ∇ Down 8%|
Rates by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 4¢ per mile|
|WoW: Refrigerated Δ Up 9¢ per mile|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 5¢ per mile|
Would you like to have your own copy of the trucking industry data? All of the information covered in this week’s report for May 5, 2021, is available for your convenience in PDF form below. just click the image and presto!
Welcome to the Weekly Report, for Randall-Reilly I’m Joshua Miller. We have a packed report with a lot to get to this week, so let’s jump right in.
Truck driver searches were down 21% WoW, but up 9% MoM, and 51% YoY. Clicks on truck driver postings were up by 17% WoW and 37% MoM, but down 15% YoY.
Bit of a mixed bag here as we saw an increase in click-through rate on truck driver postings and the clicks increased by 17%, but the searches dropped by just over 20%. But last week also came in with the highest level of click activity since March. With these kinds of numbers, we can assume that drivers are actively looking for new driving opportunities.
We start off with good news as load postings in the truckstop.com system rose by 2% and sets another all-time high. That increase translated to all major haul segments. Dry van was up 3% WoW, as was refrigerated, and flatbed increased by 2% WoW. And with that 2% increase flatbed load postings have set a record high for the 9th time in 10 weeks.
Truck postings, however, saw their largest decline in eleven weeks. And likewise, all major segments saw decreasing numbers. Dry van fell by 5%, refrigerated dipped by 7%, and flatbed dropped by 8% WoW.
Spot rates rose by 5¢ per mile and set an all-time high for the fourth consecutive week. And as you may expect that translated to increases in spot rates for all major segments. Dry van was up 4¢ WoW, refrigerated jumped up by 9¢ WoW, and flatbed was up by 5¢ WoW.
Now over the last few reports and including today, I’ve talked about a lot of record-setting numbers, but that’s not necessarily a surprise given the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. Stimulus money hit consumers in March and the Bureau of Economic Analysis is now reporting that the surge in consumer spending in March was the largest since last June.
Here in the states a fading pandemic and increased vaccinations have led to stronger sales and rising employment levels at restaurants and other businesses involved in leisure and hospitality. Flatbed trucking, which seemingly sets a new record every week, in particular, is especially benefitting from strong housing starts, which are now at their strongest levels since all the way back in mid-2006.
It seems that a lack of tanker drivers may well lead to gas shortages. Data suggests that demand for gas this summer may reach unprecedented levels. We’re talking upwards of 10 million barrels a day. As it is right now, demand is already up 97% compared to this time in 2019. Hotel bookings are up but airline travel remains low, meaning people are ready to travel and they’re most likely going to be driving a car to reach their destinations.
That’s where we hit a major snag. With so many people expected to be driving as we head into the summer months; we need drivers to keep the tankers moving … but it looks as though there is currently a lack of available tanker drivers to meet that rising demand.
If this does indeed come to pass and gas stations are left waiting on fuel and we enter a “shortage” it will not be because we are actually low on fuel. As it stands right now, we look to have all the crude oil and gasoline we need, but the tanker drivers to move that fuel is where the problem lies. And if these numbers are correct … it could be a pretty big problem.
The National Tank Truck Carriers trade group is now suggesting that 20-25% of tanker trucks will be parked this summer. For some context, that number was only 10% in 2019 – and remember the demand is up nearly 100% compared to then. Many of the needed drivers stopped hauling tankers in the midst of the pandemic when gasoline demand dropped as a result of the shutdowns. Couple that with the fact that tanker drivers are required to complete safety protocols to qualify to haul gasoline and crude oil, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a driver shortage.
With the current demand elsewhere many drivers who could fill those tanker jobs just don’t want to bother with all the red tape and just prefer to find jobs with fewer safety requirements. Other common factors affecting an overall driver shortage such as early retirements (magnified by the pandemic), leaving the industry entirely for other jobs, increased or prolonged unemployment benefits, reduced numbers of new drivers coming through school, and of course, the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse all combine to amplify the tanker driver shortage and the looming gasoline delivery issues associated with it.
Tanker operators have begun raising pay to try and fill their drivers’ seats, but they may well have to increase that pay further to attract enough drivers to adequately haul the anticipated need for gasoline and crude as we head into the warmer and travel-heavy months of summer.
The bottom line is if you are among the tanker operators out there needing to fill seats in trucks, you need to do all you can to attract those needed drivers. Whether that is through increasing pay as I’ve just mentioned, or some other avenue, you need to find something you have to offer to make it worth the drivers’ time. But most importantly you need to do it NOW. Remember, the impending gasoline shortage has nothing to do with gasoline or crude oil itself; it all comes down to drivers. Get out in front of it now as quickly as you can. The longer trucks sit idle the worse the shortage will be.
That does it for this week’s report. As always you can find a downloadable PDF covering everything, we talked about here today on our blog page or down in the description if you’re over on YouTube. Join us back here next Wednesday as we take another look back to help you move forward. Have a great week everybody.