October 2013

A 2012 TEXAS TRUCKING INDUSTRY STUDY shows Texas trucking companies that expect to grow this year are unique in terms of how they recruit and retain truck drivers.

According to the new study, companies that expect to grow are more likely to:

  • Provide drivers guaranteed “at home” time;
  • Provide paid vacation and paid sick time;
  • Offer drivers health care and retirement plans;
  • Pay bonuses for longevity and safe driving records;
  • Provide electronic onboard recorders that eliminate the need for drivers to keep paper mileage logs;
  • Provide driver safety training; and
  • Pay referral bonuses.

The findings are significant because truck driver turnover is a growing problem.

The American Trucking Associations reported recently that turnover for large truckload fleets rose to 90% in the first quarter of this year, the highest level since early 2008. Moreover, small truckload fleets saw a 16% jump to 71%, the highest level for that segment since mid-2008.

“The Texas trucking industry is faced with an ever increasing driver shortage challenge,” said John D. Esparza, president and CEO of Texas Motor Transportation Association (TMTA). “Through this intuitive study we are equipping our members with pertinent information to prepare for these situations and giving them tools to make educated decisions about their businesses reflective of the current economy.” TMTA is one of the largest state trade associations in the nation representing the trucking industry.

STREAMLINING FMCSA REGISTRATION. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has completed a years-long effort to streamline and simplify its registration system. In a notice posted in Mid-August, the agency spelled out the changes that will take effect when the new regime kicks in a little over two years from now.

Besides consolidating four separate identification systems into one, the new Unified Registration System takes the registration process online and improves public access to carrier data.

One of the agency’s goals is to keep better track of “chameleon” carriers that evade enforcement by re-registering under a different identity.

The new system covers for-hire and private carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers, hazmat carriers, cargo tank facilities and Mexican carriers operating in commercial zones. Mexican carriers operating in the cross-border long-distance pilot program are not included. Registration will be handled through a new MCSA-1 form. Carriers that already have a DOT number won’t need to use the form until they have to renew their registration.

MORE STUFF TO TRUCK. The U.S. Commerce Department says this measure of the total output of the nation’s goods and services increased at an annual rate of 2.5%, up from a first reported 1.7% increase a month ago.

The new figure is also more than double the number reported during the first quarter, when it moved higher by a 1.1% annual rate. The report is the second of three quarterly reports the department will issue.

Part of the reason for the better performance is that the United States exported more goods and imported less, while consumer spending during the period increased at an annual rate of 1.8%.

The report also showed all money earned by consumers, businesses and governments increased at an annual rate of 2.5% while corporate spending increased at a rate of nearly 10%.

“The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.”

-Thomas A. Edison