GULFPORT, Miss., Sept. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when our economy can least afford another setback, shortage of truck drivers is driving freight costs higher and producing strong headwinds for recovery. At year-end 2015, the shortage was estimated at 200,000 drivers and still growing.
As the laws of supply and demand take over, this shortage is causing trucking companies to give preference to the most lucrative hauls. In other words, he who pays the most gets the first ride. There just isn't enough drivers to go around.
That leaves many shippers to choose between the lesser of two evils. Either accept shipping delays or pay higher freight costs. According to Louis Normand, CEO of the American Truck Showrooms, "In some cases, it's like a bidding war to make your load priority over others in line."
Some experts attribute the need for more drivers to a growing population and an explosion in online shopping. As the population grows, so does the demand for staple goods. When it comes to online shopping like the world's biggest e-commerce company Amazon, more consumers are foregoing the typical shopping trips to brick and mortar retailers and letting their mouse do the driving. That means truck rides are replacing car trips - the goods still have to get to your door by a truck.
But, when we asked Normand, to comment on the enormity of the driver shortage, he said, "Rising freight demand is starting now because of the holiday season approaching is just a small part of the problem by the end of 2016. The real problem is a shrinking supply of drivers." He attributes this in large part, to the fact that major trucking companies are finding it more cost-effective to contract with owner-operators than hire their own drivers. He then added, "The old seasoned owner operators are a dying breed, they don't want to fight the new truck technology--exhaust after treatment systems are a big reason."
It was seventeen years ago that Normand, then CEO of one of Mississippi's larger big truck dealerships, recognized this declining trend of owner operators. Hence, the birth of a brilliantly simple solution to a growing problem. He said, "It just didn't make any sense, all this freight to haul and no one to haul it." So, Normand decided if a driver / owner operator couldn't get a truck financed because of weak credit or the truck down payment being too high, or couldn't come up with the required down payment, Normand would solve these problems with his American Truck Showrooms "No Credit Check - Rent To Buy Program". The customer can take delivery in less then one hour without any hassle at all.
Now, American Truck Showrooms has become the largest No Credit Check Rent-To-Buy fleet of semi trucks in the country. With numbers now approaching a thousand trucks, more expansion plans are well underway. New service facilities and an expanding network of affiliated service centers, equips the fleet to grow to its new infrastructure capacity of several thousand trucks.
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SOURCE American Truck Group, LLC