In recent years, many transportation companies have struggled to attract new talent as older drivers retire and fewer young people choose a career path in the industry. A recent report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) showed turnover rates at transportation companies during Q1 2013 was 97 percent, a sharp spike from the already-high 90 percent seen at the end of 2012. However, carriers aren't just faced with a worker shortage - they're also struggling to meet demand for pickups and deliveries as the American energy market experiences a boom.
Booming domestic market could signal growth
The domestic energy market is currently experiencing a resurgence and there are a range of groups promoting additional energy exploration and oil drilling within the U.S. This could not only cut American dependence on foreign energy, but also potentially help reduce costs for domestic consumers.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic oil production reached 6.4 million barrels per day in 2012, a number that is projected to shoot up to 7.3 million per day in 2013. As more oil is extracted, it will need to be delivered across the country, and trucks will likely be responsible for the bulk of this transit. The agency reported oil delivered to refineries via trucks jumped 38 percent from 2011 to 2012, and this number could further increase this year if domestic drilling grows as anticipated.
What this means for the transportation industry
Carriers are already responsible for moving thousands of barrels of oil across the U.S. daily, and the demands on their resources will only continue to grow if lawmakers keep pushing for domestic energy exploration and drivers continue to leave the workforce at a rapid rate. This may make it difficult for transportation companies to keep up with commitments and ensure deliveries and pickups are made on schedule.
As such, more fleet managers may find it necessary to rely on route optimization software that will ensure drivers are taking the most efficient roads to their final destinations. Logistics software can also assist these companies to ensure they are utilizing resources appropriately, which can be necessary if a firm has picked up additional business, is understaffed or is simply looking to reduce fuel spend.