Post-pandemic auto industry has seen a myriad of problems, with one of the worst being supply chain choke and shortage of spare parts. But barely anywhere is the situation as abhorrent as it is within the truck industry. Trucking companies lack the parts required to fix trucks that are broken, and are struggling to purchase new trucks.
Normally, truck industry is a great business to be in, where drivers can make as much as $100,000 a year. However, currently, the businesses are facing a trying time. As of March 2022, the trucking industry in the US alone is facing a deficit of around 90,000 trucks due to a startling supply break, and just as many numbers emerge in the shortage of truck drivers.
The shortage of new trucks has been there for a while due to a global drought of equipment such as semiconductors, or microchips, that power the systems within a vehicle. This trend has affected the logistics management organizations, of which the trucking industry is a significant part of since it transports 72% of supply goods in the US.
Also Read: What is Fleet and Maintenance?
Thus, there is a consequent shortage of new and operational trucks, on top of the rising diesel prices and the scarcity of truck drivers.
Forbes estimates claim that the pandemic has taken with it about 6% of the total truck driving workforce. While the trend stands at 80,000 drivers short in 2022, if the situation remains the same, there will be a need for 160,000 drivers by 2030.
Despite being huge, the truck driver shortage issue is still not as pressing as truck parts deficit currently plaguing the industry.
The growing problem is of empty shelves in stores because there are lesser trucks available to transport goods. If things persist as they are at the moment, inflation will rise to ridiculous amounts for all products.
The plague of inflation is not restricted to general economy alone. Given the shorter supply and higher demand, the inflation of truck parts and trick prices have risen beyond what was imaginable.
As a result, all across the nation, the trend can be seen of trucking companies looking towards salvage yards for stock replenishment. Even reputable trucking businesses that have never considered this option before are purchasing equipment like trailers, truck cabs and other truck parts from junkyards. This would not be their preferred choice, but they are short of options.
One benefit this situation has is on improving the situation for salvage yards. Various salvage companies have seen an increased profit of around 20-30%. On their end, junkyards believe trucking companies should feel no shame in turning to them in these dire times. In spite of this, many professionals remark that more needs to be done to reduce this drastic auto parts drought.
The need to resolve this has seen businesses and shops digging deep and employing remanufactured auto parts at various instances to repair vehicles. More creative tactics include auto parts businesses interacting with their vendors in advance before year-end to buy more products than their standard purchasing limit to ensure they are stocked as much as possible.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no silver bullet for this prevailing problem. Change will be gradual and improvements will come together eventually. Experts and those who have closely studied the situation predict that the trend will continue threatening global supply chains within the logistics industry until the latter part of the year.