Sept. 24, 2015—A recovering U.S. economy is driving record demand for trucking. But many smaller operators, who make up the vast majority of the roughly 470,000 for-hire fleets on the road today, say they’re missing out on the boom.
The amount of freight hauled along the nation’s highways hit an all-time high earlier this year, fueled by improved retail sales and factory output. Trucking industry revenue has grown an average of 6.5 percent a year since 2009, topping $700 billion last year for the first time, according to the American Trucking Associations.
But costs are rising, too. The industry is struggling to attract enough new drivers, forcing companies to raise pay or offer sign-on bonuses. New regulations, including rules capping emissions and limiting drivers’ hours on the road, are adding to truckers’ expenses.
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