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Summer Freight Factoring Industry Trends: Precedent & Future Outlook

Summer’s trucking industry picks up in April when produce is ready for transportation. It goes strong through July, for both produce and also the construction supplies that are in high demand during prime construction season. In August, all of the back-to-school and holiday items start heading to stores and trucking experiences its peak months through the end of October.

As it can be very busy, it’s important to understand summer’s trucking trends and what happens as it slows down. Despite it being the height of the trucking season, it’s important to consider the future, too. These are the seasonal trucking industry trends to consider 

Trucking Trends Shift Through the Summer

Retail and e-commerce sales often increase in the summer, especially for seasonal items like summer produce, beach and summer leisure goods, summer skincare products, construction supplies, and lawn equipment like mowers. Not everyone hauls those goods, however. 

The manufacturing industry often slows down in the summer, so there is less need for trucks to haul goods in those months. From June through August, manufacturing’s summer slowdown can impact truckers who haul freight for manufacturers.

Whatever gap you face, freight factoring helps you cover your cash flow by ensuring the loads you haul are paid quickly. If you had work in July, you shouldn’t have to wait until September before you get paid by the broker or shipper.

When you look at the big picture of past prices and workloads and pay close attention to prices and lower freight rates, it’s important to start considering the benefits of a strong cash flow through freight factoring.

How Is the Summer Trucking Landscape in 2024?

Fuel prices also tend to go up in the summer months. If you look at the average cost of a gallon of regular gas between December 2023 and May 2024, you’ll see the price went from $3.134 per gallon to $3.603. That’s almost a 50-cent increase on each gallon.

Diesel is a little better. It went from $3.972 in December to $4.002 in April, but it dropped to $3.822 in May. Still, prices are much higher than they were before the pandemic hit and the federal interest rates skyrocketed in hopes of avoiding a recession.

Rising gas prices are one issue, but there are others. Because inflation drove prices up, people are pushing back. In one big area, shipping rates became an issue with retailers pushing back against higher freight rates. As demand for lower freight costs moves on, it’s impacting trucking companies.

The American Trucking Association found that revenues and profit margins fell in 2023. For-hire truck tonnage dropped by 1.7%. Rates aren’t increasing due to the abundance of available trucks. Trucking companies that saw gains were usually gained by expanding and purchasing other trucking companies.

Equipment Lease and Finance Association reports that charge-offs increased by 0.4% in February alone. That means 0.4% of transportation loans were so delinquent that banks wrote them off as losses but haven’t forgiven the debt. Typically, those accounts are sold at a discount to a collections agency. This does a lot of damage to your company’s credit score.

It’s not just the U.S. In Canada, five of the biggest banks saw delinquent transportation loans increase by 4% in 2024. Delinquencies are now at the highest level they’ve been since the 2000s.

Health insurance costs are also increasing. Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker reports that the cost of medical care, including insurance costs, has increased by 119.2% in the past 20 years.

The weather is another aspect that’s impacting summer trucking. Much of the country has been in the grips of a heat wave that is making AC systems in truck cabs and refrigerated trailers work harder.

Hotter asphalt temperatures wear out tires faster. States like Florida have seen flooding rains that keep truckers from easily reaching their destinations. Meanwhile, while some states are suffering from locked-in heat, you have Idaho and Montana where an unusual snowstorm hit with up to 14 inches of snow predicted.

Hurricane season is starting up and already Alberto left some areas of Mexico with up to 20 inches of rain. Areas in Texas saw up to 6 inches of rain. When there are storms like this, it can slow down traffic and lead to frustration and delays with on-time deliveries and drivers staying within the regulations regarding how long they’ve been driving without a break. 

Also, drivers don’t like being away from their families for extended periods. That’s one aspect that makes it harder for companies to find truck drivers. This drives up costs as companies attempt to draw talent by increasing benefits packages to become more appealing.

Tips for Forecasting Future Trends

One change coming up in the next five years is concerning people in the trucking industry. The EPA set zero-emission vehicle standards for heavy-duty trucks by 2027 to 2029. All-electric trucks are a costly venture for companies who will need to purchase new trucks, and there’s no certainty on how well they’ll perform in the long run.

Plus, charging requirements could prove challenging for truckers as it takes time to charge and some areas get more cars and trucks lined up than others. If it’s taking up to eight hours to charge up a truck, that’s a lot of wasted time. Tesla states a semi can travel 500 miles on one charge, and it takes 30 minutes to reach 70% charge with a Megacharger.

As of August 2023, Tesla was working on installing nine Megacharger electric semi charging stations between California and Texas, but it’s going to take time, which adds to the concerns of the trucking industry being ready to switch to fully electric rigs.

How do you forecast the future? Keep up with the latest trucking news and keep tuned in to our blogs as we keep up with changes in the industry. 

Freight Factoring Helps Any Size Trucking Company Through the Changes

Saint John Capital offers the lowest rates in freight factoring. We’ve helped many smaller trucking companies grow into national ones. If you’re tired of waiting weeks or months to get paid or had a broker or shipper close its doors before you were paid, we can help.

Freight factoring is a service where you send your bills of lading to us, we pay you the majority of the money due that same day or within a couple of days, and you have cash in hand without a wait. You don’t have to submit every client’s invoice with us. Pick and choose which clients you trust to pay quickly and have us take care of the rest. 

Our services also include gas discounts, competitive business lines of credit loans, and free business credit checks. Unlike our competition, we provide 100% cash advances after delivery of the load or 50% if you want half of the cash when you pick up a load and head off to deliver it. Learn how to get paid now at Saint John Capital.

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