We’re continuing our blog series on what’s on the mind of truckers in 2023. This includes trucking drivers and truckers as in trucking companies, of which Great Western Transportation is a proud, long-standing and hard-working member of the family. In our last blog we discussed pay for drivers in 2023 and new technology becoming more prominent in or being introduced in 2023 to help drivers and trucking operators be safer and more efficient/productive.
One of the great concerns of truckers (both independent trucker drivers who own their own truck(s) and trucking outfits) is insurance and the inflation of insurance as part of the general inflationary pressures in the industry. Insurance has gone up, and for certain freight conditions are very high. The Trucking Research organization came out with a report that insurance premium costs per mile have increased by 47% from 2010 to 2020, and is now increasing further going into 2023. Part of the unfortunate offset for this increased expense for very large outfits is reducing the pay or reducing bonuses for one third of truckers—a worrisome figure. The insurance costs also forced big operators to choose between insurance and technology advancements.
An interesting fact in trucking is that the majority of the drivers are aged between 45 and 54. This majority of 45-54 year-olds is on the road more than 60 hours a week, often driving up to 14 hours before the next break. For 2023, this is catalyzing more interest in schedules for drivers and their time off periods. This not only affects the drivers, but the drivers’ families. Sometimes these drivers burn out and leave the trucking industry or retire early, and these conditions contribute to the driver shortage we’re experiencing in our industry. Part of the operations management (including here at Great Western) is looking carefully at scheduling and mandated rest hours and time off.