All That's Trucking

Are Small Trucking Companies Missing Out on the Recovery?

Expensive equipment, e-logs and other regs are tough on small fleets.

September 24, 2015

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Photo by Evan Lockridge
Photo by Evan Lockridge

An article this week in The Wall Street Journal talks about the challenges small fleets are facing in a world of higher truck prices, tougher regulations and a truck driver shortage.

According to reporter Loretta Chao, the amount of freight hauled hit an all-time high earlier this year, and trucking industry revenue has grown an average of 6.5$ a year since 2009, topping $700 billion for the first time last year.

But the smaller companies that make up the vast majority of for-hire fleets, she says, are missing out on the boom. Hundreds of companies have gone out of business or sold to larger competitors.

"Companies operating six or fewer trucks still make up 89% of all fleets, and a sustained period of strong demand for their services should eventually help them charge higher rates to cover rising expenses, analysts say. However, some industry experts are bracing for another wave of bankruptcies and mergers when new regulations kick in."

Electronic logs are a key part of the article, with Donald Broughton at Avondal Partners, which tracks trucking bankruptcies, predicting that e-logs will put a lot of smaller companies out of business.

Take a look at the article, then come back and share your thoughts and experiences on the topic. Have you worked for a smaller company that has gone out of business or been gobbled up by a bigger one? Or is your small company a strong and vibrant one that will weather this storm? Is your company going to be in big trouble when e-logs hit? Maybe you think the companies that are going to be in that much trouble when e-logs hit are the ones that should be driven out of business because they're obviously running too many hours. 

Let me know in the comments below, or send me an email at [email protected].


  1. 1. New [ March 27, 2016 @ 08:06PM ]

    I worked for a small trucking company that went out of business though i couldn't read an article at wsj without subscribing

  2. 2. joshua wise [ April 22, 2016 @ 08:24AM ]

    the companies in the trucking industry will continue to go out of business if there is no minimum wage required to pay each driver for every mile the truck is driven. there is no minimum the brokers have to pay per mile and because the brokers are not regulated the industry is falling because greed is taking over


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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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