Ongoing pandemic challenges continue to impact the country’s supply chain
CHATTANOOGA, TN, November 15, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–US Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX) today released its economic forecast for the fourth quarter of 2021, highlighting various trends and updates specific to the logistics industry. Full and detailed forecasts are available on the company’s blog. Two key themes emerged for the remaining weeks of 2021:
The general state of the economy and consumer demand.
Extensive stimulus and unemployment benefits combined with low interest rates have boosted consumer spending throughout the pandemic. As the number of unemployed continues to decline and stimulus dollars dry up, the question is whether purchasing power and consumer confidence will remain strong in the coming quarters. This holiday shopping season will inform the resilience of the American consumer and the continued sustainability of supply chains.
Continued focus on truck loading capacity amid persistent driver shortages.
The American Trucking Associations estimates the industry will have lost 100,000 professional truckers by the end of the year. Industry-wide, increases in driver pay per kilometer have not been sufficient to attract more professional truckers to the market. Supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages across the country have contributed to increased wait times for drivers. Tasks such as pickup and drop off that used to take less than an hour can now take three to four hours. Drivers are paid when freight is in motion, and increased wait times may help explain why pay-per-mile increases have not resulted in increased capacity as they have during previous cycles.
In addition to these key themes, the passage of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure legislation and the recent Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rule will likely have impacts on the logistics industry. , which may take some time to fully realize.
“The past year has brought the country’s fragile supply chain to light, with more people understanding the ripple effects of international shipping delays and labor shortages,” said Eric Fuller, Chairman and CEO of US Xpress. “As we begin to turn the corner on this protracted pandemic, it is important to recognize the hard and sustained work of logistics professionals across the country, from truck drivers to retail workers, to all people in front line that kept the country running.”
US Xpress Enterprises, Inc.
Through its subsidiaries, US Xpress Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: USX) provides its customers with on-the-road, dedicated and brokerage services. Founded in 1985, the company uses a combination of smart technology, a modern fleet of tractors and a network of highly trained professional drivers to efficiently move freight for a wide variety of customers. US Xpress is implementing a range of digital initiatives and technologies to drive industry innovation, streamline the value chain for customers and improve the overall driver experience. To learn more, visit usxpress.com.
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Brad Carmony, Vice President, Brand Communications