American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello said the trucking industry should see freight volumes increase toward the latter part of 2015.
“Right now, we’re in a bit of a soft patch because inventories are higher than one would expect,” Costello said here during ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition. “Once that normalizes, we should see a healthy rebound in freight volumes.”
Costello said even though business is generally good across the sector, fleets are having difficulty adding capacity because of a dearth of qualified drivers.
“We reported earlier this month that by the end of the year we expect the driver shortage to balloon to about 48,000,” he said. “This shortage is preventing many fleets from capturing additional business because they just do not have the drivers. The lack of qualified drivers remains a tremendous threat to continued industry growth.”
Even without capacity expanding, Costello said sales of Class 8 trucks should remain strong as fleets replace older trucks with newer ones.