CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) –US Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX) today released its economic forecast for the second quarter of 2021, highlighting various trends and updates specific to the trucking industry. Full and detailed forecasts are available on the corporate blog. Four key insights coming into the second quarter include:
1. Economic growth and consumption patterns are driving demand for full loads
Economic indicators point to a continued V-shaped recovery with GDP expected to grow in the coming months. Consumer spending is on the rise, with imports hitting new records this summer. Sustained and robust growth will require increased product manufacturing by shippers and re-stocking of shelves. If consumption continues at this rate, prices and volumes are likely to remain high for the remainder of the year, even with a slight drop in volumes expected in the third quarter.
2. The loading capacity ceiling
Persistent driver shortages and backlogs of tractor orders continue to exacerbate the capacity problem. Additional factors, including the impacts of the $ 2 trillion government infrastructure bill and a dramatic increase in carrier liability insurance minimums, could attract drivers to other careers and put many small carriers out of business. bankruptcy. The next three months of reporting on tractor deliveries and driver recruitment and retention will have a huge impact on truck supply ahead of the holiday season.
3. Frictional changes versus structural changes
The foreclosure economy has led to a significant increase in online shopping, with merchants amassing $ 861 billion in online sales, a 44% increase from 2019. As vaccines roll out and Americans revive them spending on travel, dining and experiences, online shopping is expected to decline. But how the habits of 2020 will continue or evolve remains to be determined. For the trucking industry, autonomous technology will have a long-term structural impact with leading innovators like YouSimple actively test autonomous trucks on specific lanes. Although we always need professional drivers, range could influence the capacity and availability of drivers on the road.
4. Government spending will have a profound impact on trucking
Broad spending initiatives such as the new infrastructure bill could boost economic activity while further exacerbating driver supply problems. Areas where dollars are allocated would likely push shipping demand beyond the near record levels we’ve seen in recent months. The employment implications could impact freight – unprecedented hiring in the construction industry for public works projects would further reduce the number of drivers.
âAs our country emerges from a one-year lockdown, consumer spending habits will change and manufacturing and shipping trends will continue to evolve,â said Eric Fuller, President and CEO of US Xpress. “This quarter will be important in determining which government spending initiatives are advancing, how new technologies are shaping the trucking industry and how both will impact the entire global supply chain.”
US Xpress Enterprises, Inc.
Through its subsidiaries, US Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX), provides roaming, dedicated and brokerage services to its customers. Founded in 1985, the company uses a combination of smart technologies, a modern fleet of tractors, and a network of highly skilled professional drivers to efficiently move freight for a wide variety of customers. US Xpress implements a range of digital initiatives and technologies to drive innovation in the industry, streamline the value chain for customers, and improve the overall driver experience. To learn more, visit usxpress.com.