Trucking industry facing fewer potholes
WATERLOO, Iowa — Iowa trucking industry officials say their business isn't exactly smooth these days, but they don't seem to be facing as many potholes.
Lower fuel prices have served as both a bane and a boon for the trucking business, industry officials told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
The price of oil has dropped to an 11-year low of around $36 per barrel, due in part to increased domestic production and less consumer demand. The low crude prices have cut into a fracking industry that boomed only a few years ago.
Waterloo native Bob Costello, chief economist at the Arlington, Virginia-based American Trucking Association, said the industry also faces a driver shortage.
"A driver shortage continues to be an issue, despite the slower growth in volumes," Costello said, noting that the industry has about 48,000 fewer drivers that it needs.
Companies that can pass some of their fuel savings to drivers will retain more of them, Costello said.
"You got a shortage of drivers, driver pay is going to go up, so they're taking some of that savings and giving it to the drivers," he said.