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SuperTruck 2, Representation for Trucking & Jan 2023 Jobs Report

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On this episode of The Road Forward, Alex, Flint, and Matt discuss what’s new in the trucking industry. They shared their thoughts on Freightliner’s new truck, ATA’s comments to lawmakers and the January 2023 Jobs Report.

Freightliner SuperTruck 2

Recently Freightliner announced the release of their new SuperTruck II, their most advanced aerodynamic vehicle yet. Among a long list of features and improvements, this truck has the ability to run heat and A/C without idling, and due to its aerodynamic build it even gets up to 12 mpg. It’s worth mentioning that this was a government funded project. Some comments on the project expressed concerns about whether this was worth the effort. However, Flint pointed out that unlike many government funded projects, this could be implemented in the near future and this technology has the potential to be practical and helpful to the industry.

ATA Addresses Real Issues for Truckers

Chris Spear– CEO and President of ATA– attended a recent meeting of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This hearing was attended by representatives from 5 arms of transportation and infrastructure, and Spear was there to represent the trucking industry. It may come as a surprise to some that he actually addressed several real-world issues relevant to today’s drivers and owner-operators. These include truck parking, congestion, and electrification. One of the points made by Spear on electrification was that with such a big push towards hybrid and electric vehicles, the issues of parking and congestion will only get worse. Spear was able to represent problems of common truckers instead of just the agenda of big companies, and present these issues to those who are actually passing the legislation.

Read more about what Spear had to say here.

January 2023 Job Report

Based on January’s report, the government added around 74,000 employees over the previous month. Trucking gained a moderate amount of this number. In general, it looks like we’re seeing both wage growth and employment growth. We speculated that one reason for this could be the gig economy (Uber, Doordash, etc.) that has been growing over the last few years– people are now looking to get back into the workforce or even get a second job, leading to a sudden increase in employment rates.

What we’re seeing in trucking is that the driver market is still strong. Pay seems to be increasing even though rates are still low because the amount of freight being transported is high and continues to grow.

Check out the statistics here.

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