A number of recent data sources, along with quotes from economic analysts and trucking industry leaders, all point to an improving economy and clear signs of an improved outlook for the trucking industry. The outlook is best described as “cautiously optimistic” and we are are not out of the woods just yet. But things are moving in the right direction which should bode well for trucking companies and the outlook for truck driving jobs.
US And Canadian Economic Outlook Improving
David Bradley, the head of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, said the industry remains fragile even though the situation has improved since last fall.
“There are optimistic signs and things appear to have turned the corner but I don’t think people are dancing in the streets just yet” – David Bradley – head of the Canadian Trucking Alliance
Meanwhile, railways in Canada and the United States saw their non-coal volumes increase compared with a year ago as total carloads for the week ending March 6 grew by 13 per cent to 739,292, the highest level since November 2008. The Port of Long Beach also said container traffic in February grew by 30 per cent from last year, while the Port of Vancouver reported shipments early this year topped its expectations after falling 11 per cent last year.
Hiring At Trucking Companies On The Rise
At BigRigDriving and TruckingTruth we get a lot of information from both truck driving students and experienced drivers regarding the state of hiring in the trucking industry, and all signs point to much stronger hiring trends throughout the industry. Some trucking companies that had recently closed their truck driving schools are rumored to be getting ready to open them back up. Students who had previously had difficulty getting any pre-hire letters from trucking companies while in school are now finding it rather easy to get pre-hires from 3 to 5 different companies.
Also, the number of truck driving jobs in our database has grown significantly in recent weeks as more and more companies are recruiting at a faster pace. Some of this is due to seasonal trends, as freight volumes pick up heading into spring each year after leaving the slowest period of the year behind us – generally January and February. Others point to an improved economy as another boost for hiring and freight volumes throughout North America.
“After an undeniably tough 2009, economic indicators for the trucking industry and industry in general are showing signs of a recovery.” – Dan North – Chief Economist for Euler Hermes ACI
Wabash Trailers Now Hiring
Not only are trucking companies doing more hiring, but other trucking related industries are seeing increased demand and have begun ramping up their hiring efforts. Wabash Trailers has hired 100 temporary associates with plans to hire 90 more during the quarter, the semi trailer builder said.
“Our Lafayette operations are beginning to see production and customer demand levels not seen since 2008. We are excited to see order levels finally growing to a point that creates a need for additional associates.” – Brent Yeagy – VP and GM of Transportation Products Group for Wabash National
Improved Outlook Throughout The Trucking Industry
So as you can see, everyone from economists to trucking company executives to executives in other trucking related industries are seeing signs of improvement. More hiring, higher freight volumes, improved seasonal trends, and more stable profitability are all great signs moving forward from here that the economy can continue to pick up throughout the summer and the demand for drivers should remain fairly strong throughout the year in 2010.