According to the American Truck Business Services’ (ATBS) Mid-Year Independent Contractor Benchmarks and Trends Report, while some aspects of trucking, such as mpg, have improved since June 2019, revenue has seen an overall drop in the past year.
While COVID-19 seems like the likely suspect, the report pointed to the drop in the fuel surcharge as the culprit. According to data from ATBS, the flatbed market has seen the biggest hit in 2020, dropping $0.18 in the between June 2019 and June 2020. Reefer led the pack with only a $0.04 drop, while dry dropped $0.11.
Miles per gallon increased in the same time period, with independent contractors reporting 6.62 mpg compared to 6.27 the previous year. ATBS nodded to a combination of “unprecedented modern day traffic conditions” and changes to the hours of service rules for the increased mpg.
And while net income for independent contractors was down $952 across all segments, considering what 2020 has thrown at the industry so far this year, it could have been much worse, according to ATBS. In all, net income during the first six months of 2020 was higher than the same time period in 2018, which the company referred to as a “banner year.”