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The State of the Trucking Industry Today and Looking Forward

Despite several challenges, 2018 was a strong year for the American trucking industry. Increased consumer spending greatly boosted shipping demand, resulting in driver shortages as trucking companies rushed to fill orders. With new trade deals and industry initiatives to support growth, we predict a successful year ahead for the trucking industry.

Current State of the Trucking Industry

The strong U.S. economy has resulted in a consumer spending boom. This brought about greater demand for trucks to transport consumer goods. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday sales will reach approximately $720.89 billion in 2018, a 4.3-4.8% increase compared with the 2017 holiday season.

However, this increased demand has led to some challenges for the trucking industry. The influx of new orders has strained trucking’s workforce as shipping companies struggle to meet demand. Additionally, the implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule mandated that all trucks should install tracking devices to better account for shipment status. While this has helped create greater transparency and safer working conditions, it also further limited the amount of truckers allowed on the road, as drivers without an ELD cannot commercially drive.

Amazon, FedEx, and other major companies have aimed to combat the driver shortage and maintain efficient operations by hiring thousands of temporary workers for the 2018–2019 holiday season.

On November 30th, representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada officially signed the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the original NAFTA terms. If the new deal is successfully passed through Congress, we expect to see greater wage growth for American truckers.

Yet despite the benefits to continued free trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, Congress may seek to impose caps on cross-border trucking, which may reduce trucking demand. There is also a chance that Congress may require vehicles produced in the U.S. to be composed of at least 75% North American–made parts, driving up costs for new trucks and vehicle maintenance.

The Trucking Industry in 2019 and Beyond

We expect capacity to stay tight with economic growth, with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimating that freight volume will increase 2.3% from 2019 to 2024.

ATA Chief Executive Chris Spear aims to address the American trucking industry’s challenges while supporting its continued growth. Spear seeks to make training the younger generation of drivers a top priority moving forward, in hopes of adding numbers to the workforce as demand for truckers continues to grow. The ATA is also researching new methods to increase productivity and implement better safety technology while working to offset tariffs and additional regulations affecting the trucking industry.

The ATA projects that for the next 18 months, the trucking industry will benefit from a strong economic climate. The trucking industry could see an estimated $6.6 billion of new revenue each year if Congress approves the USMCA deal.

The industry experienced the sharpest growth in demand for trucks of the heaviest Class 8 weight segment. The ATA estimates that trucking manufacturers will fill around 305,000 orders for Class 8 trucks in 2019, a 19% increase compared with 2017.

Prep for the Future with Pentaflex!

With continued high demand, we expect 2019 to be a strong year for the trucking industry.

To help in the design of new trucks and maintain the existing fleet, Pentaflex provides a complete range of metal stampings and value-added services, including machining, welding, part washing, and assembly. We also provide components for successful trucking operations, including emissions and axle/brake components.

Our facilities are fully equipped to help your trucking company excel, and our talented staff will continue to deliver high-quality products to our customers.

To learn more about our services and capabilities for the trucking industry, contact us today.

Pentaflex: Providing the Most Cost Effective Manufacturing Processes since 1972!

 

Found by Jack McGregor in 1972, Pentaflex excels in stamping and deep drawing of medium to heavy gage metal components.  After working in the stamping industry as an apprentice, and then moving his way up to Sales and Service Engineer, Jack began to notice a need in the market for stamping materials specializing in heavy gage steel. He decided to put his years of experience and expertise to use and started his own company. The name Pentaflex is unique to us and reflects how we came to fruition. “Penta” stands for our five investors and “Flex” specifies how each investor brought a degree of flexibility to the company from each of their diverse professional backgrounds.

East Columbia Street in Springfield, Ohio was the site of our first location. After many expansions we now reside in a new facility in Springfield, located in the heart of the domestic steel industry.  All necessary outside service industries are situated close to the plant including, heat treating, painting, plating, and other related support companies.   This location allows us to be regularly supplied with material from markets in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Kentucky.

Pentaflex is currently a contract manufacturer of metal stampings, weldments, and assemblies primarily in light to heavy gage steel.  We mainly service the heavy truck and trailer industry as a Tier 2 supplier, providing a wide range of stamped metal parts, with materials including carbon steels, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum.

It is our goal to develop the most cost-effective manufacturing process by continuously improving our concepts.  Customer service is extremely important to us and we feel these concepts have allowed us to maintain long-term relationships with our customers. Our professional staff is always here to help. We have a solid customer focused staff and collectively they have over 10 years of experience.  At Pentaflex, there will always be someone to provide knowledgeable information to customers and suppliers. Pentaflex is also TS-16949 certified, which is a specification that controls the development of a quality management system.  This system provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. Check out our website today to learn more about our quality focus, service orientation and especially for a list of all our products and services.