Above the Fold: Trucking Company Failures on the Rise

Six trucking companies have gone out of business since the beginning of 2019, including NEMF, Falcon Transport, Williams Trucking, and A.L.A. Trucking. The latest was Timmerman Starlite Trucking, Inc. of California last week. As reported by the Modesto Bee:

The company provided hauling services to hundreds of clients in 11 Western states, [company CEO Colby Bell] said, though its primary business was in California. The company has a fleet of 30 trucks plus equipment and trailers.

Bell said increased costs for labor and equipment, coupled with flat-lined hauling rates, have cut into their profits too much to continue. He also said state and federal regulations have shrunk their margins and increased costs.

“We tried to provide a healthy work environment for our employees and give them the best wages and benefits we could,” Bell said in a statement about the closure, “but in the end, the rates that were available did not support the cost structure needed to compensate our employees appropriately.”

Are these trucking company failures isolated cases or are they warning signals about the state of the industry and the economy? How should shippers and carriers respond?